By Maria O.
In case you haven’t heard, on the ninth of August in Ferguson Missouri, eighteen year old Michael Brown was shot by Darren Wilson. Officer Wilson fired at least eight times at the unarmed teen, successfully hitting him six times.
You might be asking why this all matters. Why should we care if it happened about three months ago?
Well, since then there has been almost non-stop protesting, the occasional riot, the destruction of private and public property due to the rioters, and of course how Officer Wilson was released without a proper trial.
That’s right. The officer who shot Brown is walking free without a proper trial.
A grand jury had ruled to decide if Wilson was guilty or if a crime was even committed in the first place. The jury was made up of three African-American citizens and nine Caucasians. Interestingly enough, in America you only require nine jury members to agree on a verdict. Make of that what you will. At the same time the jury was in court, it became clear to most what the outcomes of this trial were going to be. I mean, they don’t exactly call up the National Guard loaded with guns if you’re going to receive good news like the announcement of proper federal trial. Unfortunately, citizens can’t change the jury’s verdict, but they can try and insure a trial for Mr. Wilson. In an attempt to call higher government action, people across America have begun to organize peaceful protests. From Seattle to Times Square, people are taking to the streets to peacefully protest the decision. In front of the Supreme Court on the twenty-fifth, thousands of supporters stood chanting ‘Hands up’ and ‘Don’t shoot’. So far they have been mostly peaceful displays of protesting. Except for Ferguson.
Everyone with access to any sort of reliable news knows that Ferguson has been in a state of unrest and barely sustained peace since the shooting. It’s hard to maintain a balanced bias on the riots and who’s the cause of them. If it’s the police, protesters or people hoping to take advantage of the chaos are stirring up the people until it escalates out of control. It doesn’t help that the police are treating the rioters and peaceful protesters alike by throwing tear gas and occasionally firing rubber bullets into the crowd. But the blame isn’t to fall just on the police. Several lootings have happened around Ferguson by people using the chaos to cover their tracks. Since August, rioters have also burned at least a dozen businesses and broken into at least twice as many stores and homes. The riots started to die down on the twentieth of August but due to the latest verdict, they have started again with a renewed furiousness. It is unlikely that the community will be able to go back to its previous state once everything is over.