America Torn: Brown Killing Sparks Protests
by Dimon King, Junior Writer
On November 25, a grand jury decided that it will not indict Police Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting and killing of Michael Brown from an incident that occurred in August in Ferguson, Missouri. The shooting is an example that police brutality is ongoing issue in America and must be dealt with. Police officers need to take responsibility for their actions in shooting civilians across America.
Brown was shot and killed by Police Officer Wilson on August 9 in a Ferguson, Missouri, which is a suburb on the outskirts of St. Louis. There are multiple accounts of what happened ranging from Brown being belligerent and physically fighting with the officer before the attack to people believing that Brown had his hands up in self-defense while yelling “Don’t shoot!” at the officer. Either way, Brown was left out in the baking Missouri sun that afternoon for over four hours while police investigated the scene. Many people believe that when help finally arrived, instead of getting right to work, emergency responders and police stalled because “there was too much commotion.”
What made it worse was the amount of time the body was left in the sun on that summer day. “The delay helped fuel the outrage,” said Patricia Bynes, a Committee Woman in Ferguson. Some feel unsafe for what went down on that day. She also stated that “it was very disrespectful to the community and the people who live there. It also sent the message from law enforcement that ‘we can do this to you any day, any time, in broad daylight, and there’s nothing you can do about it.’ ”
This led to many nights in August of people trying to protest what they considered to be a murder. Instead, what really was that in the next few days and nights when people tried to raise their voice in response to what happened and the wrongness of it all, were that the people protesting and reporters were gassed by local police and state militias shooting tear gas and rubber bullets. The response to the national outcry of violence was to respond with more violence.
The response to the protesters and journalists covering the event that was such a huge problem that the President of the United States had to make an announcement stating his thoughts of the injustice. President Obama stated, “Here in the United States of America, police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their job and report to the American people what they see on the ground.”
The shooting and violence in response to the protesters created an angry America looking for the Grand Jury to indict Wilson, but there was no justice served that night. It shows that police officers will not see any consequences for their violent actions and will continue to be a threat to American citizens.
With the news of a no-indictment, people began to riot in Ferguson yelling injustice. They ran protests -- some with guns and knives. Shouts filled the streets of "Leave now or you'll be joining Mike -- dead. If our bullets don't get you, our bricks will!”
Officer Wilson spoke to ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, "I know I did my job right." In the interview, Wilson said he feared for his life as he tried to defend himself against the 18-year-old, who was allegedly throwing punches at him while Wilson was inside his police vehicle. The altercation then shifted outside the vehicle, where Wilson said Brown charged at him after initially running away. That's when the fatal shots were fired. While witness accounts heard by the grand jury differed, there were some that appeared to back up Wilson's version of events.
This response angered a lot of people. "His conscience is clear? How could your conscience be clear after killing somebody even if it was an accidental death?" mother Lesley McSpadden said Wednesday in an emotional interview on CBS This Morning. Still, McSpadden said she doesn't "believe a word" of Wilson's account. As of the protest that created much havoc, both Brown Sr. and McSpadden were present at the protests, but do not take responsibility for the violence that has occurred. “We continue to ask for calm and we continue to get out there and protest in a peaceful manner," McSpadden said. "Anything that happened we went weren't there, we can't be held accountable, we can't be held for anybody's actions if they were not our actions." They said they should not be the one to blame for such an outcome, but after losing their son three months ago, all they really want now is to bring justice in the world for things that is not right to help prevent this from happening to other families out there.
The powers given to police officers need to be taken back. If they kill someone, then they should have to deal with the same jail problems the rest of common citizens have to face. They should not just get off with a slap on the wrist of a suspension. Wilson received no jail time and will resign from receiving threats. This is wrong.
Justice needed to be claimed that afternoon, not with violence, but with maturity and efficiency. Police officers need to get more training to teach them the proper way of dealing with such a situation. To lead by example. To be a leader and not a follower. Mrs. Brown stated that Police Chief Jackson should be fired, while Michael Brown Sr. stated that how the Chief can apologize to them is by arresting the cop who shot their son. “An apology would be when Darren Wilson has handcuffs, processed and charged with murder,” Mr. Brown said.
Still today there is tension between the the police and people in Ferguson. What happened that day will forever leave a scar on these people heart, hopefully they will be able to move on to a peaceful life. Let what happened in the summer not repeat itself, and let the police brutality end. Let us move on to a future where we can look to a more peaceful one where people are not just shot down for no reason, and no justice is serve.
With this incident that occurred, it leads to many questions and a scary future. Will people continue to fight for justice with with this case or will they continue to take justice into their own hands? How will the Brown family deal with the lost of a family member? How will Officer Wilson job be affected and how will people view him now?
The biggest question on everyone’s minds is “Will there now be even greater tension between people and police?” This is one that needs to be resolved. We should not be afraid of our so-called protectors in police. If those are the people who are here to defend us, I would rather them disappear. The cops are supposed to help us to stop the fear of looking over our shoulders every three seconds not increase it. We should feel safe when they are near, not threatened for our lives.
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