The Hunger Games Dystopia Is Brewing

On Saturday an unarmed teenager was shot and killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri. This is a story that is becoming all too common lately — aggressive police force, usually against racial minorities, resulting in the death of an innocent person.

Many of us are horrified by the unjustified use of overwhelming military-style force in situations that seem to be escalated, not by citizens, but by an increasingly militant mindset within police departments across the country. There was a study done a while back by Notre Dame University that showed people holding a gun were more aggressive and paranoid, believing that others must be packing heat as well. If this is at all true, would it be any surprise that police departments are acting more aggressive after we supplied them with military hardware (post 9/11)?

But there are some who are unconvinced there’s a problem. To some, these victims are not victims at all. To some, the mere fact that police used force is enough evidence that the resulting death was unfortunate, but necessary. But that kind of attitude is dangerous. That kind of attitude leads to a passivity. This is the kind of indifference you’d expect to see in a police state scenario in some fictional dystopic movie like The Hunger Games. Sure, you have your few rabble-rousers, but in large part the population can be separated into the demoralized masses, with the rest falling into the category of sympathizers or even worshippers, those who have nothing but kind words for their aggressive authoritarian overlords.

I posted the following as a Facebook status:

I know some people are going to roll their eyes and those people would be wrong, but in a civil society within the construct of a democracy, we should fear citizens more than we fear police. When that equation flips, we have a problem.

And unfortunately I got this as a comment:

Looting and setting fires rarely helps a situation. How do you take people seriously that act out in uncivilized ways? I hope the investigation is accurate and that justice is served. However, acting like animals won’t help anyone and just hurts your cause.

Yes, there has been violence on the part of citizens, but let us not forget that this entire scenario started with aggressive use of force on the part of the St. Louis County Police, resulting in the death of an innocent teenager, who’s only crime was that he ended up being on a street with a hostile police force that forgot it was charged with the duty to protect and serve.

Let us also not forget that most of the demonstrations in the streets have been peaceful. People protesting on the streets should not have to fear the police. People protesting from their front lawn should not have tear gas canisters launched on to their property. The St. Louis County Police are out of control, and it seems the governor of Missouri might be in agreement:

St. Louis County Police to Be Removed in Ferguson, Clay Says

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon will announce that St. Louis County law enforcement will be relieved of duty in Ferguson, which has been roiled by protests after the shooting death by police of an unarmed teenager, according to U.S. Representative William Lacy Clay.

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