Just recently I decided to take a look at this case that was making such big news. It appears that a young Black teenager was unarmed when he was shot to death by a White police officer. The problem with this situation was that the incident set off massive protests and uprisings by the Black community in Ferguson, Missouri. The tension has escalated to the point where state troopers had to be called in because the validity of the integrity for local police was heavily being questioned. Eric Holder had a recent new autopsy done on the victim and the recent findings are indeed troubling. The victim, whose name was Michael Brown, was shot at least 6 times and 2 of those shots were to his head. At this point, my question would be “Is there ever a need for police to shoot any unarmed man six times?’ Granted, I was not there, so I don’t know the full story of what happened, but I do know that if someone does not have a firearm or weapon then in “most” cases it shouldn’t take “six” shots to subdue him. Police have already released a video of Michael Brown robbing a store of cigars (or something like that) and the video is being used to taint the character of Brown. However, it has already been made public that the officer who shot Brown “didn’t even know” that Brown had committed the robbery when he encountered him. In fact, the officer said he confronted Brown because Brown and his friend were allegedly “blocking traffic while walking down the street. I would never have thought that walking down the street was an infraction that was punishable by death. This incident may get a lot worse before it gets any better. If any of the reported stories about this case are true, then several things need to happen. First, the people of Ferguson need to stop rioting and engaging in violent protests. Violence at this stage is wrong and it won’t help the legacy of Michael Brown. To escalate this issue any further by random acts of destruction (like setting fires) will only result in more physical activity by police to apprehend you. As for the local police, their integrity at this point has been severely damaged. It is time for them to step aside and let outside authorities handle this case from here. As more investigation is done, more information will help to determine the next course of action. The officer that shot Brown has never had a complaint leveled against him before, so it is important to let the facts speak for themselves after they are uncovered. Just like with Trayvon Martin, unarmed Black youths are being shot and killed over mere “speculation.” This trend “HAS” to stop. The Black community has already “tried, judged and convicted” this officer in their minds so if he is somehow exonerated in the killing of Brown tensions may escalate even higher in Ferguson. The added dimension of “race” in this case only gives it bigger wings to fly. If we are to find out the truth, then it must be found “peacefully.” We can’t make this worse by applying our own brand of “street justice.” Enough noise has been made to warrant a “full investigation.” In respect to the family of Michael Brown we need to let it “take its course.” In the meantime, I hope that we ALL can learn a lesson from this story. We can’t change the outcome but we can invoke change derived from the outcome. Right now peace is our strongest ally. Give it a chance to work, and just maybe the truth will be discovered. Have a great day everyone, and be blessed.
Al Shartpon, Dick Gregory and Brett Jolly