Ferguson Is Failing By Dragging Out Grand Jury Verdict And Creating A Pressure Cooker For Its Citizens
“More than 1000 law enforcement officials have completed 5,000 hours of specialized training over the past two months, in preparation for the verdict, which will be announced any day now.” That was from a Think Progress story about the preparations the Missouri government has been taking to prepare for the Grand Jury’s verdict about whether officer Darren Wilson will face charges for shooting unarmed teenager Michael Brown six times and taking his life. The Governor since declared a state of emergency. We’re still waiting for the grand jury decision to be announced.
Three months ago — after the shooting happened and citizens began to protest — the Ferguson police basically declared war on the people they are employed to “protect and serve.” They were shooting rubber bullets into crowds of people, launching tear gas down quiet neighborhood streets and into homes, and arresting journalists attempting to cover the disgrace as it was unfolding. They instituted a media blackout and no fly zone. If you are paying any attention to images all over the news, it seems likely that this will happen again.
The news has been filled with images like these:
Supporters of Darren Wilson reached a crowdfunding goal and plan to erect this billboard:
The governor declared a state of emergency days before the ruling was even announced. Citizens have been anxiously anticipating a verdict for days. White supremacist groups have been threatening violence against protesters. It’s as if the state of Missouri is trying to create a pressure-cooker atmosphere. A bunch of cops, a militarized presence, and no actual information. Great job, Missouri.
Will we be watching police in riot gear, driving militarized vehicles — essentially tormenting citizens of Ferguson and those who have come to support and exercise their right to peacefully protest? All signs point to “yes.”
I hope there is justice for Michael Brown, because if there isn’t, Missouri officials have created an environment for absolute chaos. There is nothing American about showing your citizens that you are armed and ready to squash their right to protest.