Last week in Ferguson, Missouri a young African American was shot and killed by a police office. According to accounts circulating around. Michael Brown, 18 was in scuffle with the police officer and was killed.
The officer claims that Brown and his friend were trying to take his gun away. However, his friend and others who claimed to have witnessed the altercation state a different story. They claim that the cop was “stalking” them with his patrol car and nearly hit them with the door when he opened it aggressively. Both Michael Brown and his friend lifted their hands up to surrender, but the cop fired at Brown killing him, according to his friend.
The Ferguson police department is obviously siding with the officer and refused to release his name citing concern for his safety. Meanwhile, riots and looting have taken place at Ferguson. Many citizens, mostly African American have been destroying businesses and looting from them. Michael Brown was schedule to start college this past Monday, August 11. Yesterday, peaceful protesters were attacked by the police with tear gas. Among them were journalists who were arrested at the scene and later released. The journalists claim that the police disrespected them and their constitutional right of freedom of the press. They say that the arresting officers refused to show their badges or give their names. One of the journalists who was arrested inside a McDonalds while charging his cell phones said that the officer slammed his head on the door and then sarcastically apologized.
President Obama just addressed the situation at noon stating that the police must respect the people’s right to peaceful protest. He stated that they must respect and not arrest journalists who are doing their job and that looting and violence should not be used to make points. Obama is having the Dept. of Justice and FBI investigate the death of Michael Brown and called for peace and calm. Furthermore, the hacker group “anonymous” claimed to have the name and information of the officer, but Ferguson police said they got the wrong person.
This whole situation is complicated indeed. To my knowledge, there are no video captures of the incident so it’s a he said/he said thing. It will be difficult to prove who did what and what exactly happened. Nevertheless, an unarmed 18 year old was killed and this must be thoroughly investigated. It is not new that America has a problem with its policing system. The killing of minorities by police who in many cases were not even a danger to police must be stopped. Unfortunately, racism is alive and well in America. Studies show that minorities are often looked upon in a negative light by the police. This was what lead to the take down of “stop and frisk” in New York City where the majority of those who were stopped and frisked were African and Latino American youth.
In Missouri, the governor there has removed the Ferguson police from the investigation. He has been critized for taking days to address this situation. The excessive force demonstrated by the police is unecesssary and adds to the problem. If police continue to abuse their power then they must expect the people to rise up and fight back. It is in our history as Americans to fight back against tyranny. This is why the freedom to bear arms exists in our Constitution. Our nation in its infancy faced the oppressive British forces and had enough. Our Founding Fathers knowing how human nature does not take know how to use power well made sure that citizens had the right to bear arms to defend themselves even against their own govenrment.
This is why many protest laws such as the one passed in New York state against assault weapons. It is not fair that the police and armies have access to assualt weapons while citizens cannot. This opens up the door to having police forces and even the government abuse the people they are supposed to serve leaving the people outmatched if they need to defend themselves. Our first President George Washington said, “A free people ought not only to be armed but disciplined..” in his First Annual Message to Congress on January 8, 1790.
It bothers me to see police officers looking like soldiers with heavy artillery shooting at our own people! This is not what America is supposed to be about. In my opinion, the entire police system throughout the 50 states must be revamped. Psychologists must be involved to evaluate officers regularly and prepare better MMPI exams to test for emotional maturity and personality traits before possible candidates are hired.
Protesters must protest in peace and not use violence or destroy property. Radical groups such as the Black Panthers must not advocate and encourage the killing of police officers. Journalist must be allowed to report on the story. People shouldn’t have to rely on Twitter to find out what’s going on in their own nation!
Let us pray for all those involved.