The victim could be Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri last weekend (and scores of others, at different times and places)?or Michael Johnson, a.k.a., Crispus Attucks, in Boston's "Massacre" of 1770. The two Michaels share more than just a name and color of complexion: both were also large and, some might say, intimidating. And each man is a less-than-perfect victim. Crispus Attucks, as most historians refer to him, had armed himself with a club as he raced towards the riot developing in Boston that snowy night in 1770. He clearly intended to cause trouble.
So did Michael Brown, who seems to have robbed a store just before he died?or so cops now claim. After a week of intense national pressure and contempt, during which the narrative that white police shot down yet another innocent black person has endlessly played, provoking so many "death threats" against the trigger-man that the cops refused to reveal his identity?after all that, the Ferguson Police Department suddenly changed its story Friday.