A One Day Reprieve In Ferguson?

After several nights of violence in Ferguson, Missouri, largely precipitated by an overzealous use of force by the Ferguson Police, last night was a night of peace. And we all hope that continues tonight and going forward. But it seems police chief Thomas Jackson and the Ferguson PD are not done agitating the community.

As expected, they finally released the name of the officer [Darren Wilson] who killed Michael Brown on Saturday. They did not, however, release any information on the shooting. No description of the officer’s story, no synopsis of accounts of the multiple witnesses, nothing about the shooting at all.

But there was something else they released: a report on a robbery that occurred at a convenience store some time before. They now claim that Michael Brown was a suspect in that robbery. That they are saying this for the first time is more than a little strange. But it threatens to pull this case back into a familiar pattern, just when it looked like liberals and conservatives could agree on some things.

I really don’t want to make this a conservative vs. liberals story, but with the release of surveillance footage that appears to show Michael Brown (unconfirmed) robbing a convenience store (unarmed), you can’t help but think this story will now follow a predictable pattern in the news media. I’m not making any apologies for any crimes Michael Brown may or may not have committed prior to his death by police shooting, but people need to keep things in perspective here. I have never shoplifted in my life, but plenty of people have lifted small items from convenience stores in their stupid years, otherwise known as being a teenager. Nobody who stole a pack of Doritos in their youth expected the police to use lethal force, should they be caught.

This story should still be about use of deadly force against a teenager who was himself unarmed, who, from all eyewitness accounts, was fleeing the police when multiple shots were fired, who, again from eyewitness accounts, had his arms in the air when the fatal shot was fired.

This story should also be about the militarization of police forces in America. This story should continue to be about the boys with toys mentality of the Ferguson police and other police departments around the country.

Michael Brown deserves justice.

Ferguson deserves justice.

America deserves a demilitarization of our local police departments.


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