Will justice prevail in Ferguson, Missouri?
I’m not only asking for justice for Michael Brown, but for the accused officer Darren Wilson.
Ferguson, Missouri, has a population of 21,000, over 14,150 are African American. The state is 85 percent white, which explains the governor’s refusal to recuse Ferguson prosecutor Bob McCulloch. Ferguson’s police force has 50 white officers and only three African Americans. That’s outrageous. The Grand Jury is comprised of nine whites and three blacks. That’s another problem.
Reportedly, in 2009, Ferguson’s white police officers arrested a 52 year old welder named Henry Davis for an outstanding warrant. They arrested the wrong Henry Davis. The Davis arrested had a different middle name and Social Security number, something that should have easily been noticed by the officers. He told them they had the wrong man. That’s when the beating began. He was beaten to a bloody mess. When the officers finally acknowledged they had the wrong man it was a little too late for Davis. He wasn’t charged with resisting arrest. He never struck any officer or fought back.
So, why the beating? If you said it was because he was black you would be right. After two days of incarceration the white officers charged Davis. They charged him with getting his blood on their uniforms! That my friends is the kind of ludicrous justice Ferguson’s black population has endured for a long-long time.
Although there appears to be probable cause to charge him, Wilson’s innocent until proven otherwise in court. He isn’t guilty just because protesters walking the streets say he is. Wilson should not be judged based on previous bad acts by Ferguson’s police. I’ll wait for a trial before passing judgment, but, I want to know why any well-trained officer has to shoot an unarmed man to control him?
There are other questions. Why was Brown shot in the right arm four times, once in the back of the arm, before being shot fatally in the head. Protesters say it proves Brown was holding his hands up to surrender, as four witnesses have said. Problem is it also seems to corroborate Wilson’s claim that Brown was reaching out and trying to get his gun.
Try this scenario: Brown reached for Wilson’s gun, and Wilson shot him in the arm, Brown ran and was shot once in the back of the arm, he stopped, turned around and raised his hands, Wilson then shot him in the head, killing him instantly. It fits the evidence released so far, including audio of the incident, which confirms a gap between shots being fired. I might be wrong, but Wilson must stand trial.
Given the history of Ferguson’s police, it is easy to understand the black community’s distrust. The protesters and Browns parents want justice. Will they be satisfied with Wilson’s arrest and trial if he’s found innocent? It’s doubtful. They might, if a special prosecutor is appointed and the jury is 60 percent black, as it should be.
“This incident has brought to the forefront tensions that have existed in Ferguson for years,” said Attorney General Eric Holder.
Attempts by Ferguson’s police to stifle the First Amendment and freedom of the press and the initial overreaction and military weaponry used by the them against protesters was absolutely un-American.
After 9/11, police were sold or given military weapons, including tanks. There were intended to be used, if necessary, against terrorists. We must put an end to this militarization of the police. It has no place being used against peaceful protesters, or even those who are looting and vandalizing. Standard police gear and procedures should be used. Imagine the outcry if this type of military force were used to stop that irrational rancher Cliven Bundy and his mad militia.
Over and over again, when young unarmed black men are slain by police, or wanna-be-cops, there is an attempt to assassinate the character of the victim. In this case the police released a video supposedly of Brown robbing a convenience store of a couple cigars. They did so over the objection of the Attorney General who feared it would spark violence. Officer Wilson wasn’t aware of the supposed robbery. The only purpose for releasing the video was to attack Brown’s character.
It happened to Trayvon Martin. Pictures of menacing looking men were posted on the internet as those of Martin. They weren’t him. The Tea Party played a role in distributing the phony pictures, while portraying George Zimmerman as a nice guy just protecting his neighborhood from “thugs.”
Juries don’t always see the truth. Eye-cams would. Police officers should wear them. They’re cheaper than tanks.
Glen McAdoo, a Fallon resident can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.