It breaks my heart to wake up in the serenity of London, England and turn on CNN and see armored vehicles and what looks like military personnel and realize that it’s not some conflict in Eastern Europe or Gaza; it’s Ferguson, MO. The Midwest region of the United States, the heartland, is currently under occupation of the Ferguson Police department and the St. Louis County sheriff’s department.
Michael Brown an unarmed black teenager was shot and killed by officer Darren Wilson of Crestwood, MO. The outrage over this murder was compounded by the police keeping the officer’s name secret for six days citing concern for his safety. Preferential treatment for a suspect in a crime? Since when do we not name a person of interest? Law enforcement often uses the media to catch criminals, even George Zimmerman was named. Where is the application of the freedom of information act? Adding injury to insult to injury, when the officer’s name was released a video of Brown 18, allegedly robbing a convenience store for a box of cigars was simultaneously released in an effort to malign Brown.
These are the same tactics used against Trayvon Martin, it’s called character assassination. I have serious doubts that it is Brown on the surveillance footage, and submit that even if it is Brown, shoplifting is a misdemeanor charge. More importantly, Wilson was not aware that Brown was a suspect. Wilson stopped Brown and friend Dorian Johnson simply for walking down the street!
It should be noted that the police department in Ferguson, MO can’t afford dashboard cameras, (we’d have video and audio of this murder if they did) but they have money to be armed to the teeth. The small police department, known for it’s racial profiling, has armored vehicles as well as full tactical gear normally reserved for the military.
Now that the autopsy report has been released, we know Wilson shot Brown six (6) times, two (2) of which were to his head. One of the head wounds is to the top of Brown’s head, lending credence to Dorian Johnson’s account that Brown had his arms raised and was bent down (bowing) to surrender.
The current word is the governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon, has called in the National Guard to enforce the curfew and keep the peace. While not discounting that there has been violence associated with the protests and outrage over Brown’s murder, it has been a small faction. The citizens being gassed and shot with rubber bullets have been peaceful, exercising their constitutional right to free assembly. The crime here is being black.
I have been saying for years that the disregard for the lives of young black males was reaching critical mass. I also have lamented the lack of action by my brethren. So while heartbroken, I am also proud of ALL the NONVIOLENT civil disobedience displayed in Ferguson. Citizens of Ferguson know that the world is watching, and we stand with you.
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TK’s Bio: Terrence Kyrell Hodge I was born 9/13/79, in what was then W. Berlin Germany, to Qualise and Lieutenant Tyrone Hodge of the United States Marine Corps. He lived in London England and graduated from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor in 2000 with BA in English and Political Science. Terrence writes about any and everything. Terrence is planning a series of novels that are works of “faction” part factual (nonfiction) and partly fictional. He plans to bring a dual vision of American and European observation and opinions to PMA. He will bring blunt honesty with a sense of comedy. He says “I will write wherever I’m needed as I am NOT a one trick pony.”