Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall distilled the essence of this narrative as well as anyone. He mentioned a possibility I hadn't considered but which on reflection I should have: Wilson might be temperamentally unfit to be a cop.
A lot of the police-brutality cases over the last five or so years suggest Wilson isn't alone. That, in turn, raises a question that Marshall didn't ask but that Radley Balko did in the Washington Post in September, long before the Ferguson grand jury's decision: if Wilson and other trigger-happy guys shouldn't be cops, doesn't that mean something is wrong with the departments hiring them?
Balko writes specifically about one infamously out-of-control officer (whom Marshall also cited in his piece), but the point obviously applies generally:
If Groubert’s actions were due to poor or inappropriate training, poor hiring practices by the South Carolina state police, or a police culture that conditions cops to see every interaction with a citizen as potential threat, sending him to prison isn’t going to change any of that. Individual cops who abuse their authority should certainly be held accountable, and a system that consistently held them accountable would be something of a deterrent. But focusing only on the individual cop in a case like this lets the police agency that hired and trained him off the hook.Exactly. This is very likely bigger than Wilson or Groubert.