The people of Ferguson are outraged at the death of a black teenager who was not found guilty of any crime, yet was shot down in the street by a white police officer in broad day light. This is nothing new for black America, or for other poor and minority communities. USA Today recently revealed a report that there are two black men shot every week in this country by white police officers, and they believe this estimation is the low ball number. http://www.usatoday.com/... What the rest of America needs to understand is, this is not just about Michael Brown and Ferguson. This is an ongoing issue that concerns all minorities, as well as all concerned American citizens.
The people of Ferguson have taken to the streets to demand justice for Michael Brown. So far, they have received none, and as a slap in the face to an already hurting community, they have now had a curfew instituted upon them by Gov. Nixon. It was only yesterday that the name of the officer was released, and yet, during that same press conference, a video was played of a local robbery by an unknown assailant, as if offering justification by authorities for the shooting. When questioned further about the video, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas contradicted his OWN story and said the robbery had nothing to do with the shooting, as the officer on the scene who shot Michael Brown was completely unaware of the robbery. http://www.stlamerican.com/... Authorities claimed it was the news media who were demanding the video of the robbery be released, yet how can that be when no one in the media was even aware of the existence of a robbery? Furthermore, the store in question claimed it was not the media that asked for the tape of the robbery, but the police themselves. The inference is blatant. Authorities are trying to assassinate the character of Michael Brown, as some kind of a justification for being shot.
It took almost a week for the name of the officer to be released, yet instead of a promise of justice being served, a video that had nothing to do with the shooting was released, and the community was rightly outraged. Another representation of a black youth by the media as some kind of criminal thug who deserved what he got. It is all too familiar to the people of Ferguson, as well as the rest of the country.
Last night, as I was watching a livestream feed from the scene, some looters apparently broke windows of local stores and proceeded to steal. Immediately, local protestors headed to the scene, and began standing defiantly in front of the stores to prevent more looting. They spoke about how they believed the looters were not from the local community, but instead were opportunists looking to cause a disturbance and take advantage of the situation. On Twitter, one witness spoke of seeing the looters hop into cars with out of state license plates. Many spoke to those who were on the scene live streaming, yet did not want their faces on camera for fear that their image would be connected to the looters. Another Twitter post I read was from a local resident, saying she saw on the news in St. Louis that Ferguson PD claimed 200+ demonstrators began rioting, looting, and setting things on fire. “LIES!” she exclaimed, saying that her and another Twitterer were both there as witnesses, and saw for themselves what really happened. I watched as the livestream allowed me to listen first hand from those who were there on the ground, how they were upset that the media would portray the violence and the looting, and dismiss those there trying to stand up for justice for Michael Brown to be reduced to violent thugs, as the media likes to portray the angry black community.
A teenager was shot to death in broad daylight by a police officer, simply for walking in the street. I wonder how the media would have portrayed the incident if it had been in another neighborhood, and the races had been reversed. Suppose a white teenager walking through Brentwood, California, or maybe Hartford, Connecticut, had been walking in the street with his friend, and been shot down by a black police officer. How would that community feel if the police officer was never named, if he was on paid leave, if there was no call by the police chief, or the Mayor, or by the Governor to bring him in for proper questioning, no calls for justice for a child shot dead in the street in broad daylight. How is a community supposed to feel safe when there is no regard for the value of a young man’s life, and police officers can shoot and kill an unarmed teenager and suffer no consequence, and in fact be put on PAID leave? There are those in the media claiming the officer in question is worried about his security, that there have been death threats made against him. Yet a community is still feeling the injustice of their own dead son, and wondering, how much longer will it be before the next son is shot dead by a twitchy trigger finger of a police officer? How can my son, brother, neighbor, father, uncle be safe in a world where a policeman will shoot you down as you hold your hands in the air saying “Don’t Shoot!”
What has the people of Ferguson even more outraged is the St. Louis prosecutor, Robert McCulloch. http://www.stltoday.com/... Not only is his history of prosecuting police officers called into question, he has close ties to police, considering his father, brother, nephew, and cousin “all served with St. Louis police.” At the press conference today, one question that was asked of Gov. Nixon was if he would be replacing McCulloch in the case. As with almost every question asked of the Governor by those present at the press conference, the question was never answered, and instead deflected with a “we are worried about safety” non-answer.
As of today, a curfew will be in place from 12am-5am, with no information as to how long this will be active. Residence are even further outraged by this. Even watching MSNBC immediately after the press conference, both those hosting and those who were guests on were visibly upset by this newest information. It seems authorities will continue to distract from the real concerns of the community, and look to instead deflect the questions being asked of the population of Ferguson. One woman, I wish I knew her name, spoke very plainly in explaining to the Gov. what protestors were most upset about. People were taking to the streets to demand the officer in question be held accountable for shooting an unarmed teen a week ago, and still, authorities refused to say what would happen to him. How can there be justice served for an innocent child being shot to death in the street if authorities never hold their police departments accountable? How can a community be at peace when they know it will only be a matter of time before the next innocent man is killed for no reason by an unreasonable, irresponsible police force? At least there is some good that is coming from this terrible tragedy in Ferguson. The rest of the country, if not the international community, is taking notice of what has long been common knowledge in poor and minority communities- the indiscriminate killing of their unarmed boys and men by police, and the complete lack of justice or oversight over the militarization of our police forces.
It’s about time this conversation took place out in the open in broad daylight. If you can shoot a man dead in broad daylight, then we can talk about how we are to FIX this problem under that same bright sun.