Wednesday, November 26, 2014
It's fair........... burn it!
On November 24 2014, the grand jury released it's decision that no probable cause exists to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson MO. The peaceful protests erupted into mayhem , looting and numerous fires. The rioters fired over 150 shots into the night air, looted numerous businesses and set about 25 structural fires during the evening hours.
Evidently, when some believe that an injustice has been perpetrated upon them, indirectly, the answer is to destroy whatever is nearby.......... even if these are businesses that are owned and operated by people who live in their own community. Dozens of cars were set on fire at the Auto by Credit dealership, a Conoco service station convenience store was destroyed by fire as well as Title Max, Auto Zone and Fashions R Boutique which had been in business for over 20 years.
Red's Barbecue, Sam's Meat Market, Family Dollar Store and the building that houses the community outreach program #HealStL were also destroyed by fire. O'Reilly Auto Parts, Toys R Us, Energy Express and Dellwood Market and Ferguson Market were looted, the Ferguson Market had been looted before as well as being the store that Brown reportedly stole items right before his death. The public storage was broken into before being set on fire and a Little Ceasar's, Hidden Treasures, the St Louis Fish, Chicken and Grill and Walgreen's were burning during the night as well as several police cars. Many other business's were damaged in some way while others were reportedly protected by groups of armed residents or owners.
I can understand why people were upset that the grand jury did not decide how they believed they should have but I don't understand what any of the business's that were looted or burnt to the ground had to do with the decision. I also am not going to believe that all of the damage was caused by a few people who were from out of town and only there to cause trouble.
Some businesses were lucky enough to have citizens gather together, lock arms and try to prevent others from looting or destroying them. The police and fire department could not be everywhere in the city and there were reports from the scene that the fire department at times had to leave the scene of a fire because of gunshots in the area. I don't believe that the destruction that occurred was because of the pain from the grand jury decision.......... what does destroying a car parts store have to do with a police shooting?
What happened that first night was chaos created by a feeling of entitlement. The feeling that I can do whatever I want to do because I want to and if I get injured or arrested later, well, they police are picking on me. The evidence slowly emerged in the Brown shooting case............ he was not shot in the back while he was running away.
Officer Wilson probably was not a "nice" as he could have been by not asking Brown to please leave the center of the street and kindly walk on the sidewalk that the city provided for him. What was shown by the evidence was that there was a confrontation at the window of the police car, two shots were fired while Wilson's gun was still within the car and somewhere near his waist. Brown prevented Wilson from exiting his car, traded words... not so nice words, with Wilson and then took off running.
So now we have a young man, a large young man who is a possible robbery suspect, someone who has no problem with wrestling with an officer for a gun while he is seated in his patrol car. For me, color of either one's skin has gone out the window because the young man is a danger to the public. The evidence showed that Brown ran away from Wilson but he was not shot numerous times in the back then. Instead, the blood evidence shows that Brown did turn around and ran about 21 feet back towards Wilson who was now out of his car and pointing a gun at him. He ran back at Wilson almost the distance of four nose-in parking spaces before he was fatally shot.
Wilson testified that Brown was within 8-10 feet of him when the last shot struck him. Brown, a young man the size of an average pro football lineman was running at Wilson, while the officer was still firing his gun. Many people try to believe that he should not have fired or felt that his life was in danger but I wonder how many would feel the same way if they were standing in his shoes. This was a young man who already showed that he did not fear wrestling with a cop for his gun or slamming a door on him.
The looting and fires............ they had little to do with the "pain" the community feels and a lot to do with just destroying or stealing because it is there. I do believe that there is much to fix in Ferguson as well as this country starting with basic respect and dropping the belief that we are all entitled to more than what we put the effort into gaining. Ask the woman who worked very hard for three years to create and grow her "Hidden Treasures" business........... did looting and burning it to the ground do anything to change the verdict created by Michael Brown's actions on that day? She is faced with rebuilding, if she can financially and why would she want to rebuild in a community that did not care about the success of one of their own?
Where are the parents and why are there not more protests or calls for a return to the respect for self and others that seemed to exist a couple of decades ago? What happened to the understanding that your actions will lead to consequences, sometimes consequences that you are not going to like? Where is the outrage when it is an officer who is gunned down........... or when it is an innocent, unarmed black child that is gunned down by another black person? Is that child's life not "worth" as much as Michael Brown's?
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