The Ferguson Unrest
There is a perception and even an understanding that law enforcement is not your friend if you are a black man on the streets of your city at night. If you are an person of color in, what police consider to be, the “wrong place” and “wrong time,” you will be considered an offender. The shooting of Michael Brown, in the suburbs of Ferguson, in St. Louis, Missouri and specially the media coverage of the events is right here to remember us the issue is not nearly over.
In August 2014, America and the whole world turned heads to the suburbs of St. Louis when a teenager was fatally shot several times by a police officer.
Michael Brown, 18 years old and a recent HS grad with no criminal records, who was walking back home with a friend. Records of the shooting indicate the event happened around 12pm. Both teenagers were walking in the middle of the street and police officer Darren Wilson, 28, approached both teenagers and ordered them to get back to the side walk. The polemic of the case starts about how did Wilson approach the teenagers as many testimonials conflict despite most of them indicate Wilson’s attitude was truculent.
The confrontation resulted in a struggle between the police officer and Brown at the window of Wilson’s car, who shot Brown in the hand. Before it was over, Wilson is believed to have fatally shot Brown six more times. The number of shots, the chase and the circumstances that were reported by media aroused a rampage of the black community in the city known as the Ferguson Unrest.
Many protests that took place in the streets of the city that a followed showed aggressive behaviors by the police, looting during the events and a blood thirsty media. Tear gas was used, there were beatings and the shooting of bean bag rounds that even included people who were clearly not looting or attempting against the law like state Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal.
While the case is still open and more forensic evidences showed up in the end of October proving Brown was shot at short range, the aftermath of his death in the streets is far from over, specially when it comes to the debate about the police response.
What’s going on? Why burn and loot your own neighborhood? What’s wrong with the relationship between law enforcement and the public?
There are two sides to every argument. More when its a racial issue. It has become another polarizing event. It has become another opportunity for the ambulance chasers, and the hate moguls to get air time. In a world where everyone wants an instant fix, there is none here. Nothing we do can bring back young Michael Brown. This event also rips the bandaid off past events. We can’t seem to advance.
You can’t polish a turd. – from my senior drill instructor, Parris Island, SC.
Nothing said can comfort a parent that has lost their child. There has been nothing said yet that helps the frustration, fear and anger of so many unemployed and hopeless young people that feel that the only recourse they have is to tear something up, yet.