On August 9th 2014, a dreadful event took place in Ferguson, Missouri. An unarmed 18 year old black man, Michael Brown,was fatally shot by a 28 year old white police officer, Darren Wilson. This event has grown tensions between communities of color and police officers. Also, it has sparked discussion about law enforcement’s relationship to people of color and their use of force towards them.
Brown and Dorrian Johnson, a best friend of Brown, were walking down the street, and then Wilson drove up. He commanded the two to move the sidewalk; a physical disagreement begins to brew between Wilson and Brown inside of the police car. Shot were fired from Wilson’s weapon, Johnson and Brown began to take off in different directions. Wilson began to go in pursuit of Brown. Wilson fired his weapon a number of times while Brown was running. Brown was shot eight times.
The community of Ferguson, along with many different cities around the world broke into an outrage over this incident. Many communities believed that the shooting of Brown was unjustified. Some believed that if Brown was white then he wouldn’t have been shot. Protesting occurred all over to show the world that this was unjust. The Ferguson Police Department released a video covering the incident that had cities all over America outraged. The video showed Brown stealing a handful of cigarillos and shoving the store clerk away. Wilson said he heard that a theft had just taken place, so this is why he approached Brown.
Wilson was investigated by the grand jury; this lasted for over three months with testimonies from over sixty witnesses, testimonies from the investigators, and also a four hour testimony from Wilson. Over the course of this long investigation, the grand jury finally made their decision. They called for no indictment for Wilson. After hearing that decision many protesters felt that justice wasn’t served. Many riots broke out in Ferguson as a result.
“This is the same thing that has been happening to our people the past 400 years, I don’t think this is anything that is new,” says Robert Reid, a South Oak Park resident. “As far as things that should change, that’s gonna have to take place with each individual person who is a person of color, more support of each other, more love and protection for each other. I think that if we were more focused on protecting our brothers and sisters, then something like this wouldn’t happen.”
This incident has caused communities and law enforcement to discuss this issue and commit to bettering the relationship between the two. The local NAACP has set a march up for this weekend to push the matter further. According to the Sacramento Bee, marchers will gather at 9 a.m. Saturday at Southside Park, 8th and T streets. At 9:30 a.m. they will march to the Capitol where they plan to rally at 10:15 a.m.