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Since I've written about Michael Brown's killing a couple of times, I've heard certain things from a certain type of reader:

First, that I shouldn't prejudge and should wait until the investigation shows exactly what happened.

Second, from the same people, that Michael Brown beat the officer violently, that the officer suffered a fractured orbital socket (eye socket), that Michael Brown was rushing at the officer when he was shot, that Michael Brown committed a strong-arm robbery just before he got shot, and that Michael Brown is a thug and a criminal.

(What was that again about not prejudging, and allowing the criminal investigation to play out?)

I don't know if any of those assertions are true. But I do suspect that the "fractured orbital socket" that many people inclined to defend Officer Darren Wilson are bringing up over and over, as if it were established fact, will prove to be false.

I haven't seen anyone in a position of responsibility in the case assert that Wilson had his eye socket fractured. And I have seen video -- CNN aired it -- of Officer Wilson walking around next to Michael Brown's body, talking with another officer, after the shooting. He does not appear to have suffered a bad injury, like a fractured face. He appears to be, as well as can be assessed through a not-close and not-sharp video, fine and healthy. He does not appear to be in any physical distress. So either he is one tough dude, who isn't bothered by a fractured eye socket (which undermines the argument that the injury justifies him shooting an unarmed Michael Brown), or he did not suffer an injury as bad as that.

I suspect the "fractured orbital socket" is the "weapons of mass destruction" of the Michael Brown case, a detail that some people would dearly love to believe but which will turn out to be illusory.

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