The world is going in a whirl about the Ferguson riots. A police officer named Darren Wilson of Ferguson, MO, shot an unarmed teen named Michael Brown on August 4th, causing an uproar, followed by citizens peacefully protesting, rioting, and two reporters from two different publications being arrested while trying to cover the chaos.
The police also gassed protesters. This appears to be yet another act of police brutality. Brown was black and Wilson is white. Many People wonder if the shooting is a result of racial prejudice. That’s the immediate response some of us quickly jump to since racism has been around for over 100 years and we’re still grappling with the wounds of slavery today. Citizens of Missouri, and all the states throughout want justice and inequity for Michael Brown. Many questions are still unanswered and the question that immediately comes to mind is “Was Michael Brown innocent?”
Brown was a robbery suspect and had marijuana in his system the day of the shooting according to the police. Eyewitnesses say that Brown was on his way to visit his grandmother. He was reportedly walking in the middle of the street with friend Dorian Johnson and a squad car stopped. Officer Wilson asked them to get on the sidewalk. So this could simply be a case of jaywalking, not a case of racial profiling. The race card is important but it might not always be the truth. The victim is not always innocent. Some claim Brown and Johnson must have refused to move to the sidewalk, and when the officer came face-to-face with Brown a “verbal confrontation” ensued. According to an article on ultra culture.org, Johnson said Brown “started to get down and the officer still approached with his weapon drawn and fired several more shots.”
This case ties to the shooting of Trayvon Martin, two years ago. The fact that Trayvon’s parents have joined Michael Brown’s family makes this a big issue. In a way that people think there’s injustice in both cases. However, the riots that broke out across the city were unnecessary, and the fact that the police formed a “paramilitary” force and gassed rioters is ridiculous. Like Brown, Martin was unarmed when the now former Neighborhood watch Captain George Zimmerman shot him in Sanford, Florida. Martin was 17 at the time of his death, Brown was 19. Both victims were at convenience stores before they were shot.
The new Black Panther Party included themselves in both shootings by advocating for interests. But the best thing to do is look at the bigger picture here. There are other ways that justice can be made for both victims. Such as donating money, or calling a community meeting. Honestly no one deserves to be shot, and each situation could’ve been handled differently. But it seems like when police brutality, or any crime occurs, people quickly jump to conclusions with the “race” card. In reality, just because people of a different race shot the victims, doesn’t necessarily mean it was a race issue. It could just been a result of a crime they committed. The world is a harsh place, and there needs to be justice period. And my kind of justice is to sign a petition for a law that should be passed. Think wisely.