Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown on Saturday, August 9, 2014. The fact that Brown was an 18-year-old black man and Wilson was a 28-year-old white cop led to many weeks of rioting and unrest in the Ferguson, Missouri, area as well as protests in other parts of the nation. Much property was destroyed in the weeks since Brown’s death.
On Monday St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCullock (Democrat) announced the decision of grand jury investigating the death of Michael Brown to not indict Officer Wilson. The grand jury members accepted the responsibility to separate fact from fiction and consisted of seven men and five women, nine white and three black. They met 25 times in a period of more than 3 months and heard testimony from 60 witnesses.
After many weeks of investigation and hearing testimonies, the grand jury “determined that no probable cause exists to file any charge against Officer Wilson, and returned a `No True Bill’ on each of the five indictments.”
Minutes after the grand jury decision was announced, anger exploded and violence broke out on the streets of Ferguson. Numerous businesses were looted, and some buildings burned to the ground. The police station was attacked, and several police cars torched. More than one hundred shots were fired.
The death of any person is a sad happening, and a violent death of a young person is even more so. The fact is that this death did not have to happen. No matter what Brown did before meeting Officer Wilson, the evidence shows that Wilson told Brown and his friend to move out of the street and the young men did not do as they were told. IF Michael Brown and his friend had been obedient to the police order, Brown would still be alive. He probably would have been arrested for robbing the store minutes before the shooting, but he would be alive.
Brown’s mother is heartbroken – as most mothers would be – and continues to blame Officer Wilson for the death of her son instead of accepting the fact that her son caused his own death. I believe that this is a fairly normal reaction for a mother to have. I hope she can find peace and come to the realization that her son was not shot because he was black. There is absolutely no evidence that Officer Wilson shot Brown because he was black but because he feared for his own life and the lives of other people. All of us need to remember that Brown was 18 years old and is considered to be an adult. If he had acted as a responsible adult, he would still be alive. We all must understand that choices have consequences.
What can other families learn from the sad experience of the Brown family? One lesson we can learn is to teach the rising generation to respect law and authority. Another lesson that parents should teach: There is no reason to attack other people and/or destroy private or public property no matter how angry we get. A third lesson is to remember that Americans have the right to protest and the responsibility to protest peacefully and lawfully.