Ferguson and the impact of Police Brutality.

man_with_chips

This week for a couple of reasons I’m taking a break from talking about Light Novels, the first being that my post from last week will go up today on GameIndustry.com, and I don’t want to write multiple posts a day for different places. The second being that I wanted to get a bit more time to read the series I’m currently enjoying for the Light Novel column. Finally I wanted to talk about why it’s important to always hold those in power accountable for their actions. This is going to be as unbiased an opinion as I can make it, and I’m not going to force a view on anyone.  I’m talking of course about Michael Brown and Ferguson Missouri.

In fact Wikipedia has a fairly unbiased account of what happened:

The shooting of Michael Brown occurred on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri, United States, a suburb of St. Louis. Michael Brown Jr., an unarmed 18-year-old black male, died after being shot at least six times by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who is white.

According to Ferguson police, Brown was a suspect in a robbery committed minutes before the shooting, although the initial contact between Wilson and Brown was unrelated to the robbery. Brown had no criminal record. Wilson had served four years with the Ferguson Police Department after two years with another local police department. He has no disciplinary history.

The shooting sparked unrest in Ferguson due to longstanding racial tensions in one of the most segregated metropolitan areas in the United States. Peaceful protests, vandalism, and other forms of social unrest continued for more than a week, with night curfews being imposed and escalating violence. Widespread media coverage examined the trend of local police departments arming themselves with military-grade weapons when dealing with protests.

My view point on it: First off the fact that Mike Brown may or may not have stolen something, and all evidence points to the fact that he didn’t steal anything, doesn’t mean that you can shoot him 6 times. If he attacked a police officer you still don’t have to shoot him 6 times. You shoot him once or twice to get him to back off. However multiple eye witnesses reported that Mike Brown was just jaywalking, hardly a capital offense even in Shanghai where you can be arrested for walking while chewing gum. He was than stopped by an officer who tried to force him into the car and when he ran away he was shot , he turned around and held his hands up and begged the man to stop and he was killed with a shot to the head. Other people say that the officer, Darren Wilson, suffered an Orbital eye fracture, but an eye witness video shows him just standing around without any apparent injury or pain. If your eye socket is fractured you are going to be on the ground whimpering in pain and probably not going to be able to shoot a gun very well. Second you won’t stand around and not call in the shooting. However Officer Wilson did these things, probably because he felt that he could get away with it.

Why anyone thinks you could get away with murder in this day and age is beyond me, but when the community of Ferguson asked for answers they were treated as animals and were subjected to Police with heavily armored vehicles, military grade equipment and many guns pointed at them. Even in the military you are not trained to point your weapon at someone unless you intend to shoot, which either shows a severe lack of training on the part of the police or something much darker and more sinister. Thinking back on it I’m not quite sure which one of those two it is, but if it’s the latter that means that the majority of that police department has been properly trained and still pointed loaded weapons and unarmed civilians who are peacefully protesting the killing of an unarmed man. When people got tense and threw water bottles at the police, mind you that they are fully armored and equipped for a war on American soil and have no reason to get upset about a plastic water bottle, they arrest those who they are frightening. They arrested reporters, who are doing their job, and when asked for their badge number or name they refused to give it. In fact they aren’t wearing any sort of identification on their bodies.

If you want to de-escalate tensions you don’t go around doing it like that. In fact do everything the exact opposite of that. The next time you hear about police brutality anywhere, you should know that you have the right to question, record visually or auditorily and protest in a peaceful manner and not be treated like the people in Ferguson are being treated. If China, Iran and Russia call you to let you know what a wonderful job of handling a protest you are doing, you’re doing it wrong.  Also the above picture is of a man who is holding a bag of chips, throwing a canister of tear gas back at the police to get it away from women and children at a protest. You don’t tear gas kids, ever.

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