Poll: Public Broadly Unaware that “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” was Disproved by Obama Administration
By James D. Agresti
January 19, 2016
A nationwide scientific poll has found that nearly two-thirds of voters don’t know that the Obama administration debunked the claim that Michael Brown held up his hands in surrender before he was shot. This outcome reveals a high level of public ignorance about the key event that sparked the “Black Lives Matter” movement.
In March 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice, which is under the authority of President Obama, issued a report proving that Brown had attacked police officer Darren Wilson and that Wilson used his gun in self-defense. Contradicting widely reported assertions that Brown held up his hands in surrender, the Department of Justice found that such claims were either:
- “inconsistent with the physical and forensic evidence,”
- “significantly inconsistent with the witness’s own prior statements,” or
- recanted when people in the neighborhood admitted “that they did not witness the shooting,” in contradiction to what they had told the media.
The Department of Justice also found that:
- Brown attacked Wilson in his police car, as proven by the fact that Brown’s DNA was found on Wilson’s shirt collar and on the inside and outside of the driver’s door of Wilson’s car.
- Brown was advancing towards Wilson when he was shot, as evidenced by the pattern of blood stains in the street.
Despite the import of these facts and the firestorm of media about Brown’s death, a recent poll commissioned by Just Facts has found that the vast majority of voters do not know the correct answer to the question: “Did the Obama administration’s investigation of the Ferguson shooting find merit in claims that Michael Brown held up his hands in surrender before he was shot by police officer Darren Wilson?”
The poll reveals that 63% of all voters, 81% of Democratic voters, 42% of Republican voters, and 68% of undecided voters do not know the truth of this matter. These figures include voters who gave the incorrect answer and those who said they did not know the answer. People who gave the incorrect answer included 27% of all voters, 45% of Democratic voters, 12% of Republican voters, and 26% of undecided voters.
These poll results may stem in part from the fact that certain prominent individuals are still spreading the narrative that Brown’s killing was the result of police brutality. For example, U.S. Congressman Bobby Rush (D-IL) recently sponsored a bill that cites “the death of Michael Brown” as an example of “the unjustified use of lethal and excessive force by police officers against African-Americans.” Nine other members of Congress have already signed onto the bill as cosponsors.
Likewise, surrounding the occasion of this year’s Martin Luther King Day, hundreds of reporters and commentators are citing the death of Michael Brown while failing to mention that the central storyline that made this a national issue is untrue. Over the past four days alone, Google News shows 429 results for a search on “Michael Brown” Ferguson. Only one of the first 30 results gives any indication that Brown attacked Wilson and was shot while charging at him.
In his famed “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote that the first step in a “nonviolent campaign” to achieve justice is to gather “facts to determine whether injustices exist.” Yet, people who claim to honor King’s legacy are promoting a falsehood that has fueled riots and enraged a gunman who executed two New York City police officers.
The poll results were obtained through live telephone surveys of 700 likely voters across the continental United States on December 15–20, 2015. This poll also contained 23 questions to measure voters’ knowledge of policy issues, such as education, healthcare, taxes, global warming, and hunger. Further details are available here.
When Obama was elected I thought to myself that electing a Black President to be president meant the end of racial discrimination.
Over the years Obama and his administration have demonstrated again, and again that they would provoke, manipulate the facts and lie until the nation has become more divisive than at any other time in my life.
I say to him and all people who consider themselves to be progressive and politically liberal Shame on You!l
Fundamental changing of America.
He is stirring up racial hatred and division on purpose it is part of his agenda to divide the country racially, socially, and economically. It is in his plan to change America, if he does not declare martial law before the elections I will be surprised as hell.
Yes John I agree. No one could say it any better than that. I do hope that people would wake up. Thank you for having the courage to write the truth.
Obama has been even more disappointing then Jimmy Carter as President. Neither of them has demonstrated any ability to look toward any aspect of true governance, but to look at all aspects of “Getting Even”. This is a truly discouraging state of affairs, and even further emphasizes the idea that “Inconvenient Facts are to be ignored.” But Facts are Stubborn Things, and lead you to true knowledge. It is your responsibility to gain them.
How can “JUSTFACTS” be vetted. There have been discussions, with convincing evidence, that many sites claiming objective reporting carry a bias, despite even the sources of documentation. It is argued that the use of the AP reports are clearly biased in reporting supposed true facts.
The truth seems elusive regardless where you go.
I agree that many sites claiming to be objective carry a bias, and I don’t think anyone is totally free of bias. However, Just Facts does our best to check this human foible by using publicly posted Standards Of Credibility and a Guarantee of Integrity that empowers our readers to vet us. Yes, the truth can be elusive, but it is not out of reach for those who are genuinely committed to finding it.
Facts are racist.
What’s sad is there are documented cases blatant police brutality and murders but they do not receive even close to the same media attention because it does not fit their agenda.
I came back to this article to view the differences in age. They are not included. It would be interesting to find that information. Ie, did a higher percentage of older Americans get this right? I would expect it to be slightly higher. It would also be interesting to do this study again– as the 2020 elections are just starting to warm up. But please include enough 18-34 year olds to give us reasonable information. “The sample sizes of third-party voters and 18-to 34-year olds are too small to produce meaningful data.” is from https://www.justfactsdaily.com/poll-reveals-voters-are-uninformed-about-major-issues/