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August 24, 2014



Officer Darren Wilson's Orbital Blow-out

On Aug20.2014 an article by Louise Boyle in the Daily Mail caught my eye. In fact, many articles in the DM catch my eye, but normally it's because they are so daftly written and incompetently edited. But Boyle’s article was the first I’d seen claiming that Darren Wilson, the Ferguson cop who shot Michael Brown, was "badly beaten." At least that’s the way I read it. But, what, with this being the DM and all, there are numerous interpretations. Here’s the what Boyle wrote:

"Wilson was reportedly badly beaten and left with serious facial injuries following the fatal shooting in the St Louis suburb, including an eye socket fracture. The officer was almost knocked unconscious by Brown's blows, according to the source."

Now, most people who speak English would probably not read that paragraph as saying what it is almost certainly meant to say: that Wilson was badly beaten before the fatal shooting and the serious facial remained after. What it clearly does say is that the beating and facial injuries occurred after the fatal shooting.  

Either way, let’s follow this meme that Wilson was "badly beaten" by the kid he shot, Brown. Who did Boyle cite as her source?  She cited three.

First Boyle cited a FOX story by Hollie McKay dated Aug20.2014


McKay claimed that Wilson . . .

". . . suffered severe facial injuries including a bone fracture near one eye and was nearly beaten unconscious by Brown moments before firing his gun"

"His" surely refers to Wilson’s gun, not Brown’s. (McKay is obviously as void of English grammar skills as Boyle.) 

OK, so where did McKay get her information? She didn’t say – "a well-placed source" within the police circle. You know that old story. Reporters with unnamed sources can publish any lies they want to and say they came from the unnamed source. There is no way for her to verify what the source tells her, and there is certainly no way for the reader to. The existence of this source may itself be a lie for all we can tell.  Somebody get Dan Rather on the line.

McKay went on to say the "precise extent of Wilson’s injuries are unclear." But then she contradicted herself in the next breath by reporting that Wilson suffered a fractured eye socket. How much more precise does it get?

Now here’s the really interesting thing: McKay continued telling the story as it was related to her by her "source." The source told her that Brown reached into the car, and there was a struggle for the cop’s gun, and the gun went off, and Brown walked away, stopped, and raised his hands, etc. And the reason I raise the point is that the only way McKay’s source could have gotten all of these details was from his buddy, the cop – Darren Wilson. But then McKay said that it is still not clear who pulled the trigger while the gun was still in the car. Was she saying that her source, who had to get the story from Wilson, claims Wilson doesn’t know who pulled the trigger of his own gun? I don’t think so.


But back to Boyle and the DM article. Next she linked to ABC News for saying that "a police source revealed Officer Wilson suffered a 'serious facial injury'." Well, here is the sum total of what ABC said about the injury:

"A source close to Wilson told ABC News that during the struggle at the patrol car, Wilson suffered 'a serious facial injury.'  The injury was not described, but last week Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said that Wilson had swelling to the side of his face. The hospital photo of the office's facial injury is expected to be shown to the grand jury, the source said." [bold added]

So we’ve got something between "serious facial injury" and "swelling to the side of his face." Not a word about any fractured eye socket. We’re coming to that.


What else has Boyle got? Next to nothing – only a right wing blogger named Jim Hoft who put up a post on his blog on Aug19.2014 with the "BREAKING REPORT" that Wilson suffered an "orbital blowout fracture to eye socket." This is where things start going from blatantly fishy to dishonest.  

Hoft says he has "two local St. Louis sources" (italics original) who told him Wilson suffered an orbital blowout fracture to the eye socket. "This comes from a source within the Prosecuting Attorney’s office and confirmed [sic] by the St. Louis County Police." And then Hoft puts up a scan image (below) of a skull -- the image appears to be provided as evidence that Wilson did in fact have a fractured left eye socket.

But I’m callin’ "buuuulllllshit" on this one because that is not Wilson’s scan.  It is not his skull.  It is not his eye-socket.  It has nothing to do with him.  That image was probably lifted either from the far-right-wing-nut website called Red State or from a webpage of the American Association for Pediatric Opthalmology and Strabismus explaining what an orbital blow out is. Hoft gave no attribution and no description or explanation – clearly trying to sucker people into thinking he was showing them Wilson’s horrible injury.

So this means that Boyle’s entire story is built on hear-say of hear-say produced by some daft blogger and various unnamed, possibly fictional, police sources. And that pretty well characterizes all of the stories about Wilson being "badly beaten."  Let’s move on to O’Reilly.


On Aug20.2014 O’Reilly retweeted the blown orbital socket factoid. 

Did "no spin" Bill give a source? Well . . . this is FOX and O’Reilly, so of course he did. He’s legit. His source was . . . wait for it . . . "we hear." That’s it: "we hear."  "We hear" is also called "rumor" and "freaking spin."  

Then, in a lame attempt to cover his ass in case his unsourced factoid turns out to be a lie, O’Reilly told us that he couldn’t actually confirm that part about the blown orbital. So, what we have is O’Reilly spewing garbage without a source and with out confirmation and calling it "The No Spin Zone." I don’t think so.


Well, what about that other uber-popular FOX wing-nut, Sean Hannity? Did he bite off a part of this severe facial injury BS? You bet he did.

On Aug20.2014 Hannity went in with both boots against Patricia Bynes, a councilwoman from Ferguson. The lead-off Hannity inanity was that since Bynes wasn't present at the murder, she doesn't know that it was police brutality.  When Bynes points out that unarmed Brown was shot twice in the head (which pretty much defines police brutality in a lot of people's book), Hannity goes as ballistic as Wilson’s gun. 

It is pretty obvious in my mind that Hannity had at least three problems with Ms. Bynes: 1) she’s a Democrat; 2) she’s black; 3) she’s a woman. Oh, yeah . . . and 4) she’s a lot smarter than Hannity, for she absolutely shut him down. 

Somewhere during his condescending attack on the lady Hannity stated -- as a fact -- that there are "eye witness reports" that Wilson had an "orbital eye socket fracture." But look at how stupid this is.  How would eye-witnesses know that the cop suffered an orbital fracture?  I’ve been punched in the face and I’ve worked in an ER and so I know what a swollen face looks and feels like. And I know that there is no way to look at a person with a swollen face – which is what the Police Chief Tom Jackson called Wilson's injury – and tell whether or not there is a fracture of the orbit. There is no way Hannity’s so-called eye-witnesses could have made that diagnosis. 

Hannity was, like O’Reilly, throwing rumors around as if they were facts. And yet Hannity had the gall to deride Bynes’ truthful statement that Brown was shot in the head -- twice. Here’s the way Hannity put it:

"But the fact is, you don’t know and I don’t know," Hannity concluded. "But you are making claims. You should be a better leader for the community and wait until the facts come in."

Arrogant, disingenuous prick . . .


And then there is the other side of the issue. On Aug21.2014 CNN's Don Lemon did his own investigation of the broken eye socket meme. Lemon reported that Wilson did go to the hospital and did have X-rays of his face, but the X-rays came back negative for any fractures. "Unequivocally negative."

So, who was Lemon’s source? Dunno’. He was no better than the DM and FOX crowd: "a source close to the investigation." Any names? Nope.  Just take our word.


In conclusion, I would offer just one piece of solid evidence on this issue of Wilson’s eye socket injury, which is one piece more than any of these very highly paid MSM camera-freaks have offered. And that evidence is the photo at the top of this post. It is a screen grab of a video of Wilson standing over the body of the boy he just killed. That is Wilson’s left side we see – the one that was supposed to have been "badly beaten." 

The image is too grainy to say for sure, but I don’t see any problems. And watching the video, I don't see Wilson holding his head or jaw or eye or looking like someone who is close to unconsciousness, as McKay claimed. IOW, Wilson is not acting like someone who has an orbital blow out. He’s acting like someone who just dumped six rounds into a black kid and realizes that he’s now due a paid vacation, which is what cops always get when they kill a black person.

And another thing: when a person has a badly fractured eye socket, the main symptom and the main clinical problem is that their vision is seriously affected. Normally they see double, but sometimes their vision is clouded. But Wilson shot Brown in the head twice, once dead center in the top of the skull. Absolutely dead center, according to the autopsy. Does that sound like a cop with a vision problem?


And so here’s my bottom line: somebody is lying out their ass and we’re going to know who that somebody is before this is all over. We’ve got Boyle, McKay, an unidentified reporter at ABC, Hoft, O’Reilly, and Hannity all claiming that Wilson’s eye socket was busted. And we’ve got Lemon saying it wasn’t. I’d be willing to take a sizeable bet on how this is going to turn out. Stay tuned.

-- Denis O'Brien, PhD/Esq., Aug24.2014




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