As I’m sure we all know, Michael Brown Jr. was shot and killed on Saturday August 10th, 2014. Eye witnesses state that Michael Brown was “pulled” into the window of a police car, but managed to get away from the clutches of an unnamed police officer. The eyewitnesses then say the officer shot Michael in the back (once or twice). Then, Michael Brown raised his hands, turned around, and was subsequently shot seven more times. This time, Michael did not recover.
The police officer, whose name has yet to be revealed by the authorities, states that Michael Brown entered the vehicle with the officer, struggled over the officer’s firearm, but then Michael lost the struggle and was shot. The officer then says Michael took off running, at which point the officer fired numerous shots into the 18 year-old Ferguson, Mo man.
Whichever side of the story you believe (and I tend to take police accounts with a grain of salt), it’s obvious the police officer shot to kill Michael Brown, not just detain him. The officer, when firing multiple shots at an unarmed man, into his back, had already decided to kill the 18 year-old. For that, the officer should be charged with murder. When a suspect is running away, and has already been shot, why shoot seven more times? Apparently, an officer doesn’t have to try and detain anyone. Instead, they can shoot people in the back as they flee. . . just because.
What happened afterward is quite disturbing, to say the least. Black people in the community began protesting, which ended up becoming a “loot-fest.” They broke into a Quick Trip, looted what they could, and then set the place ablaze. The Quick Trip burned to the ground and numerous people were arrested. To that I say “why would you do that?” The story already had national attention, almost instantly, and it might have had the effect of changing laws, forcing the police force to be reflective of the population in terms of ethnicity of the % of officers. But NO, y’all had to go out and loot, burn, and destroy local businesses. And for what? Some pop? Maybe some beer? Candy? Shoes?
I completely understand the frustration here as I’m a Native American and I am treated differently than any other “white person,” but this is just absurd. Now, instead of the media focusing on hundreds or thousands of peaceful protests, they have sensationalized the headlines with “hoodlums” running around half-naked, pants down their ass, stealing stuff and burning stuff for no other reason than they are wanting to steal and burn things. Because of these actions, there will be no justice for Michael Brown Jr. There will be no real change in public opinion of black Americans. There will be no civil rights movement or a move away from police brutality. Act like animals, and you will be treated like animals. That’s how the public will see it and they will NOT be on your side.
That said, the police should not be given a pass here. This officer murdered this 18 year old boy and he should be held fully accountable for those actions, as should those looters.
Protests Gone Bad
If the quasi-riots weren’t bad enough, we now have reports of tear gas being used against protesters. And, of course, the police say “bottles were thrown.” And I’m sure those bottles were deadly, chemically harmful, and threatening weren’t they? I read all the time about these “dictators” in other countries “gassing” their citizens, yet I hear nothing from our President, or other politicians, speaking out against chemical weapons being used against the citizens of this country, even though it happens all the time. So the police force is now preventing peaceful protests by attacking the citizens of Ferguson with chemical weapons.
If that weren’t enough, police shot another black man this morning around 1:00 a.m. Wednesday morning, according to USA Today. There were 9-1-1 reports of masked men roaming the streets brandishing weapons. When police arrived, the individuals were running. One of them pulled a handgun on police, and they shot him. Who knows if this is what happened, but I believe it’s probably accurate. The name of the victim in this shooting has not been released.
From this incident, we must take strides to protect all Americans from brutal police tactics. Instead of society looking at these people as “animals, miscreants, hoodlums, thugs, gangsters,” or any other bad name, we really need to view them as a group of people that are sick and tired of police brutality. I’m not black, but I can assure you, I’m tired of seeing the way police officers treat everyday people. Most of us seem guilty until we sit in jail for weeks awaiting a judge to say we’re innocent. It really is sad that in a nation supposedly “free” we are subjected to constant threat of detention, rape, and murder by the police.
The only way to keep police from killing, raping, and illegally detaining us is by holding each and every officer accountable for his actions. Each and every violation of the law, under the guise of “necessity” should be looked at by an outside group of people, and the officers must be charged as if they were civilians. Police should not be held to a different standard, ever. People should not be beaten senselessly with batons. People should not be shot at while laying on the ground. People should not be brow-beat with every traffic stop. People should never be subjected to brutality of any kind at the hands of government officials. Anything else puts us in the same category as third-world countries where the gun is the judge and the bullet is the verdict.
From this we must rise above the hate, show the world that we want peace and equal treatment. We must stand up against these kinds of actions. They keep telling us that if we “see something,” we need to “say something.” That’s right — if we see police brutality, we must not let it go on. Record everything the police do. Go to trial with your evidence. Get the news media involved. Get the community involved. But please, for God’s sake (if there is such a man/woman), don’t go looting businesses because you’re pissed about something. That only makes you look like the animal the officer just killed.