Darren Wilson, the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown this past August was not indicted for what most of America believes was murder.
St. Louis County prosecutor, Robert P. McCulloch read a 45-minute statement confirming that the grand jury had decided not to indict Wilson. McCulloch described the process that led to the outcome. Apparently the grand jury was subjected to 70 hours of testimony from 60 witnesses and based on the facts they were provided, they took two days to mull over it before reaching their decision.
As expected, the reaction to the decision was swift and fiery as protesters took the streets in major cities to seal their alliance with the crowd in Ferguson.
Washington D.C., New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, were besieged with their versions of a “maddening crowd” and the streets of Ferguson was ablaze as police began shooting and using tear gas to try to subdue the mob of protesters.
More details from the hearing began to trickle in and caused even more outrage as it became clear that the facts were streamlined to encourage what is obviously a biased conclusion. Wilson’s account of events paints Brown almost as a menacing oversized bully who bounded towards his car forcing him to defend himself by firing 12 shots at the unarmed teenager – twice while still in his car and 10 more times when he was out of the car.
Brown’s heartbroken family promptly released a statement to express their utter disappointment at the grand jury’s failure to indict the man who killed their son in cold blood, and they also pleaded with protesters to be peaceful in their approach:
We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions.
While we understand that many others share our pain, we ask that you channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change. We need to work together to fix the system that allowed this to happen.
Join with us in our campaign to ensure that every police officer working the streets in this country wears a body camera.
We respectfully ask that you please your protests peaceful. Answering violence with violence is not the appropriate reaction.
Let’s not just make noise, let’s make a difference.
President Obama, looking weary and defeated addressed the nation on Monday in response to the verdict and asked that citizens respect the decision made by the grand jury. He also acknowledged those Americans who are outraged but discouraged any tendencies towards violence in retaliation – “We are a nation built on the rule of law. We need to accept this was the grand jury’s decision to make. There are Americans who agree, and there are Americans who deeply disagree, and are even angry about the decision. Michael Brown’s parents lost more than anyone, We should be honoring their wishes”.
Obama also stressed the need for law enforcement to efficiently and calmly provide order amidst the chaos in their cities. He encouraged a peaceful demonstration with no violent confrontations and highlighted the importance of communal cooperation between police and protesters. ‘Our police officers put their lives on the line every day. We should be honoring their wishes”.
At the end, the president was also forced to admit the serious racial issues hampering the nation, “Communities of color aren’t just making these problems up. There are issues in which the law feels it is being applied in discriminatory fashion”.