Oh Justice, Where Art Thou?

Oh Justice, Where Art Thou?

by M. Dennis Paul, Ph.D.

November 24, 2014  At appx 9:20 PM it was announced that a Grand Jury decision had been made to levy no charges against Ferguson, MO Police Officer Darren Wilson who in August fired multiple live fire rounds into the body of young black man, Michael Brown, a recent High School graduate…admittedly no angel but no “gangsta” either.  Throughout an elaborately described explanation by the prosecutor, Robert McColluch, it was never mentioned that Michael was UNARMED and only briefly mentioned that there were multiple officers on the scene.  Apparently none of this mattered to the Grand Jury who were dazzled by an array of “witnesses” who, the prosecutor exclaimed. nearly all had differing testimony.  It was not mentioned that witness testimony was “leaked” to media or that false details and conflicting Police Department stories were also leaked which would likely taint any witness evidence.  He went on to state that under such circumstances the only way to achieve “justice” was to match up the physical evidence with those parts of testimony most fitting with this evidence.  The prosecutor went to great lengths to qualify this “method” but refused to state how many of the jurors were in agreement and how many were not. In a Grand Jury, all jurors do not have to agree and in this jury there were 9 white individuals and 3 black.  Apparently it did not matter that Ferguson is roughly 85% black.

Throughout the week, Governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon and all other officials denied any knowledge of the Grand Jury decision and it was claimed that a decision had only been made scant hours prior to release of the decision.  During that week, and actually a bit longer, the Governor enlisted use of the National Guard, fully militarized, enlisted extra police, again militarized, released numerous reports and statements intimating how the crowds would be handled (peacefully) regardless of the decision, fed contradictory stories to media in many elements of the process, and according to local KKK meetings were held between police and KKK who announced they would be coming to Ferguson with intention to defend Ferguson citizens against protesters and using deadly force.  Throughout all this flexing of muscle and armor, Nixon requested over and over that protesters remain peaceful.  Hard it would definitely be faced with all the threats raised by such high profile military hardware and troops.  It is notable that CNN tweeted the Grand Jury decision roughly 5 minutes before it was announced by the prosecutor. CNN quickly deleted their tweet but not before it was captured by quick tweeters.

As this note is being written, protesters have taken to both honouring the 4.5 minutes of silence asked by Mike Brown’s parents and venting their anger through marching, chanting, and acts of both civil disobedience and tossing bottles at cops, setting fire to a cruiser, blocking traffic, shutting down streets and highways and more. Police are responding with rubber projectiles, smoke grenades and arrests.  It is expected this will continue throughout the night and quite possibly for several days.

Racism, especially as practiced by Police Departments across the US, results in deaths of young black and Hispanic males and females. Earlier today a 12 year old black boy was murdered by a Cleveland, Oh. Officer who, from a distance of 10 feet could remarkably not tell the difference between a real gun and an AirSoft replica. To be honest, AirSoft is known for making quality replicas however at a distance of 10 feet…virtually the distance from your couch to the opposite wall.. a trained officer should be able to differentiate fake from real. In the hands of a 12 year old boy and with an additional officer on scene, to put a bullet into the child’s torso as opposed to talking the toy away or in the worst case scenario winging the child, is absurd overkill..literally. A quick look at the statistics for apprehensions versus kills by Police shows overwhelmingly that armed white men who have killed multiple times tend to be apprehended while unarmed black men who have killed no one are immediately shot to death.

Ferguson protests have lasted so far over 100 days and still too many people think it is just about Ferguson. NYPD reported a few days ago that an unarmed black man was murdered by an officer as the man walked down his own stairway at his apartment. It happens all across the US on almost a daily basis.  There is no other explanation than racism …an overwhelming fear or hate toward people of color.

Ferguson is about America and the failure of the nation to address racism.  Ferguson is about the fear people of color must endure in their own neighborhoods…not just from the gang mentality that is fomented in deprived neighborhoods but from the people hired to protect them from gangs and other crimes.  Ferguson is about a government supported culture of hate and fear.

St. Louis, MO cannot explain away racist cops and it cannot hide them through such phony juries.  Grand Juries are held to the very low standard of showing only probable cause to indict.  A standard joke is that a Grand Jury can indict a ham sandwich.  Prosecutor McCulloch, rather than provide pertinent data to indict, overwhelmed the jury with excess and confusing data of little relevance and attempted to try the case before the Grand Jury absent proper venue and procedure.

Michael Brown was headed to college but by making a bone-headed move, a petty theft, something kids of all colors his age will do, he was shot 6 times while unarmed in a situation that clear reason dictated assistance from the other cops on the scene in apprehending, rather than killing him, was the proper, lawful resolve. A fine and probation and Michael would have been heading home from college for a Thanksgiving with his family. Instead, his father, upon hearing the verdict of the Grand Jury, could do nothing but revisit the loss of his son… and cry.  Oh justice, where art thou?

Tomorrow, another racist white cop will, somewhere in America, steal the life of another black son or daughter.. because of color.

3 Responses

  1. Reblogged this on Said With An Eye and commented:
    This is just unfortunate. What future do we have at this rate?

    • It gets worse from here. Multiple fires now burning in Ferguson and area. Minimal property damage otherwise but cops have been clearly instigating trouble and assaulting people in violation of their own prepared rules. It is obvious that the outrage was caused by Governor and Prosecutor and neither has learned anything from this.

      • What is really troublesome about this whole ordeal is that we still haven’t learned anything as a society when it comes to race relations 😦

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: