There are people in Ferguson, Missouri who are angry. A grand jury on Tuesday chose not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson for the August fatal shooting of Michael Brown, 18.
The good people of Ferguson have a right to be angry, they have a right to question the police force of Ferguson, they have a right to challenge the grand jury’s decision and they are within their rights to demand change to police department policies.
I have always stood up for the underdog, the little guy, for those whose voices need to be heard over the bullying tactics of those in charge, those with the power. I stand behind anyone who demands to be heard within the laws of our land.
However, I have a really hard time feeling anything but disgust when a television network shows the smiling faces, the laughing faces of a crowd of thugs who feel it is right and just to loot a store in the midst of Ferguson’s worst day in its history.
Within minutes it seemed, crowds of thugs and criminals took to the streets, burning buildings, smashing cars, throwing rocks, bottles or anything else they could find to hurl at anyone and no one in particular.
My question: why? I’m certain that the crowds of people out in the streets of Ferguson were demanding justice, demanding that Wilson be held accountable for the shooting death of Brown. However, a grand jury comprised of 9 white jurors and 3 black jurors heard months of testimony and chose not to indict.
That is our system of justice – right or wrong. Witnesses told their versions of the incident and even Wilson was questioned. And whether or not you care to buy it, forensics and other evidence supported the cop’s version of the fatal night.
The grand jury said no indictment.
But that wasn’t good enough for those people who decided that they would make things “right” all on their own. And to be honest and as some people on social media pointed out, many of those looting and burning and causing mayhem likely have no clue about the incident itself, the details or the real issues.
This was just a good opportunity to take to the streets and raise hell, steal, burn and destroy.
I get the anger toward the police. And destroying the police vehicles on the streets is nothing new. Those who clash with the “establishment” and “authority” often take it out on the police cars, smashing and burning.
In the end the good people of Ferguson will be paying for those new police cars since the town’s insurance company will replace them and pass on the costs to the city which in turn will raise taxes. Dumb move. But in any event, I get it.
However, please explain the logic of burning down the business of a guy who has been in Ferguson for decades, supported his town and its citizens by maybe sponsoring a baseball team, contributing to charities and the like? Exactly what is to be gained by that? If I was that businessman I’d close up shop and move to a town where I am respected and not made an irrational target of someone’s stupidity.
Stealing liquor, shoes, cash or even cakes for heaven’s sake from shop owners accomplishes exactly what? Please tell me. All this did Tuesday night was reinforce the notion that groups who protest are nothing more than animals taking advantage of a situation to their personal gain. And who can argue? Not I.
President Obama, religious leaders, even the parents of Michael Brown pleaded for people to protest peacefully, to engage in debate within the law.
But alas, it was not to be. And so Ferguson – the good people of Ferguson – you will now suffer for the ills of the idiots. There was a great opportunity to show the country – the world – that you had a point to make and that you could make it responsibly, peacefully and with meaning.
But no. And now the world sees Ferguson for unfortunately what it is – a city run by potentially overzealous cops and even more overzealous rebels who have no cause other than creating havoc.
Have at it folks and good luck with that.