My Thoughts on Ferguson
Most of us have heard about the debacle taking place in Ferguson, Missouri. 18 year old Michael Brown was shot and killed by 28 year old Police Officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson police department. If you have not heard about this, please feel free to climb out of what ever rock you’re living under.
Now that the Grand Jury has reached it’s decision, I’m going to jot down some of my thoughts. Read it if you want, or don’t. I don’t care.
I’ve been sitting back, quietly for the most part, and watching people run their traps about what should happen, what the Grand Jury should decide, race this // race that. The bottom line is, there’s a man dead and there’s a man who will live the rest of his life knowing that he killed him.
There have been way too many couch jurors (did I just coin a new term?) passing judgement from what they hear in the media, whether it be social media or news media. You don’t have the facts, you have not heard all the evidence and you are in no position to pass judgement either way.
You should not be “happy that they did not indict officer Wilson” and you should not be “mad that they did not indict officer Wilson”. You were not there, you don’t know all the facts, you were not on the jury, you had not been presented with all the evidence in the case, and your little knowledge of the case comes from sources which most of you call in all other aspects, untrustworthy news outlets, so – quit it.
Militarization of the Police
It’s disgusting. It’s despicable. Military style armored vehicles and other weapons of war have no place on the streets of America and have no business being used against any American citizen. Period. The Ferguson Police didn’t even have dime store camera’s on their lapels, yet they’ve got access to what citizens refer to as “tanks” to drive up and down the streets, various types of grenades and weaponry, body armor, shields, etc.. etc.. etc…? Something is seriously wrong with this country, and it begins with bullshit like this.
If you haven’t noticed, weapons of war tend to incite war and escalate situations, not stop out-of-line protesters. Hypothetically speaking, if you’re a protester — are you more or less likely to stop protesting when you are confronted with resistance? Exactly. It’s natural to fight harder to make your point and be heard, when met with resistance.
It’s not right and it’s not the way things should be handled in this country. Do I have all the answers? No. But, the end result when you use military style machines and gear is the breeding of resent against public servants, like police officers. Maybe the armored vehicles worked to disburse the crowd this time, maybe it didn’t. But, one thing you don’t see it how much resentment has been created and will boil over at the next crossing.
I can’t help but think, when the outburst of violence and extreme levels of protesting began – the first act of violence came only after police showed up in Riot Gear to what (as I understand it) was a peaceful vigil for Michael Brown. If that’s not inciting an escalation of a situation, I don’t know what is.
Violent & Criminal Protesters in Ferguson
Violent and criminal protesters, you suck. You’re bad at protesting and you’re accomplishing nothing but destruction of your own city. You’re giving Ferguson a bad name and you’re doing it all in vain. Stop burning your city down. Stop stealing other people’s things. Stop destroying other people’s property. You’re acting like shit-heads and you’re not making a bit of difference in the world, you’re not changing anything for the good. Burning down Ferguson won’t bring Michael Brown back and it won’t change the Grand Jury decision.
Where the hell do you plan on living when this is over? Seriously, figure it out. Someone step up, take charge and lead people in the right direction to make real change in Ferguson.
You’re scaring the kids. Don’t any of you have children? You seriously want them growing up in the city that you’re destroying? You want your kids to see this environment? You want your kids to see the way you act when something doesn’t go the way you want it to? You want your kids to burn down buildings and set cars on fire when something traumatic happens? You want your kids to be criminals, like you?
Stop and grow up, you’re not the only people who live in this city – some people actually like (liked) the city before you started with your destruction. Now what? Where are you going to go? How many dreams have you shattered and lives have you disrupted?
You know these shop owners did nothing to you, right? You know you’re destroying their dreams, right? None of these store owners, none of the businesses and none of the residents of Ferguson did anything wrong, and you’re making life hell for them! Your anger is misdirected and destructive to your own life and to the lives of all of those around you.
You deserve better. The people of Ferguson deserve better. You should want to make your city a better place to live, rather than turning it inside out and upside down. You need to figure out how to change things for the better, not for the worse. Stop being a horrible person.
Final Thoughts on Ferguson
Violent Protesters are doing more harm than good. They should knock it off, go home, regroup and change things the right way. We live in America, we can do things locally to change the way authority works and better protect ourselves from the overburden of government. How about those lapel cameras? Apparently Ferguson Officers will now be wearing them, it’s too bad it came to this for that change to be made – perhaps no one spoke up before.
But, what next? How can you be pro-active instead of reactive. How can you make your community a better place? Perhaps start a community watch project, build a group and make a pledge to video tape all interactions you see police having with the public (while staying clear out of the way as not to impede their investigations).
Police, don’t forget that you’re a public servant and nothing more. You know it’s not right to have massive military style weapons on our streets. You should be saddened and ashamed you’ve brought them there. You should know how introducing resistance with war type machinery, aesthetics and gear will only create more anger and more resentment from a protesting crowd.
It’s a fine line when dealing with criminals (protesters destroying property, theft etc…) and those exercising their First Amendment Right to assemble and protest peacefully, simply because the crowds can often be intertwined. However, you must learn to identify and not assume everyone is there to commit a crime. Don’t let those peaceful protesters be mistaken for the former. When you make that mistake and act violently towards peaceful people, they will no longer be peaceful. You are a public servant, you are there to protect people’s rights and freedoms.
Couch Jurors, watch what you say. When you say things like “I’m so glad they convicted…”, or “I’m glad they didn’t indict…”, you’re part of the problem. It’s not for you to be glad, or mad about. You weren’t there, you weren’t presented with the evidence, you don’t know the facts. You only know what you’ve seen in the news, and as we know – the American media is not always the most trusted source for information. There is no possible way for you to even know if the decision made was the correct one.
Be glad that the justice system has been implemented and has reached a decision, to the best that the American justice system could. It was the jurors job to sort through the evidence, decide what was fact, decide what evidence was misleading and what evidence was trustworthy. It wasn’t up to you to judge the case and decide it’s outcome, it was up to them — and that job is not an easy one.
I’m feel sorry. I feel sorry for all the peaceful protesters who want to express their views, opinions and make the world a better place. I feel sorry for all the people who are caught in the middle. The people who live in Ferguson or the surrounding areas and are not a part of the community in which Michael Brown lived, didn’t know Michael Brown and didn’t know Officer Wilson. These people are bystanders who are caught in a community which is engrossed by people that are destroying everything they know and love.
Their lives have changed, their thought process has changed. They won’t be able to go back to the lives they lead before. They may have less trust in law enforcement, they may have less trust in the members of their community.
I feel sorry for the children of Ferguson. They will remember this forever. They’ll remember when all the windows in town were boarded up and everything smelled like fire. They’ll remember various details and sights throughout the city and blips of pictures and video from the news. It will have a profound effect on them and you’ll probably never know exactly what the images in their minds look like. It will affect the way they live their lives, forever…
It’s your city folks. Take it back, rebuild it. Take charge and help those in need. Help rebuild your community and become a stronger community than you were before. It’s on you Ferguson, are you going to step up and be leaders, and show the world what you can do or are you going to let your city rot? The time for planning is now. Begin the journey towards a better tomorrow.
Photos: various news outlets