There are reasons why people are uprising against the police department in Ferguson, Missouri. Some of the underlying reasons are known by the majority of Black people in America. Other facts are known to those of us who have studied the law. I thought I would lay out these facts in case someone was wondering why so many Black people are so mad, so loud, and for so long.
Fact 1: Ferguson seems to have a gang problem – Angry men marauding through the streets in matching outfits, brandishing guns at defenseless neighbors. Oh wait…those are the cops.
Fact 2: Some thugs wear badges.
Fact 3: Innocent, law-abiding and even exemplary Black people are sometimes harassed, intimidated, assaulted, and even killed by police in America. No level of fame, education, or innocence protects us from these violations of our constitutional rights.
Fact 4: We are angry because of what we have seen with our own eyes and experienced in our own flesh. Our boogeymen are not imaginary.
Fact 5: All eyewitness accounts in the Mike Brown case are consistent: he was killed while unarmed, at a distance, and posing no imminent threat to the officer.
Fact 6: Officer Darren Wilson’s friend’s friend, “Josie ” is NOT an eyewitness. Her statements are hearsay that would never be admitted in any court of law because she didn’t personally witness anything.
Fact 7: A judge would probably not allow the video of Mike Brown’s alleged robbery in the convenience store to be shown at trial because it would be too prejudicial and it’s irrelevant to his murder. So, in releasing the video to the public, the government successfully tainted the jury pool in a way that would be never be permitted in a fair trial. This was a sneaky way to violate the ethical rules of evidence.
Finally, let me say this: While the some of the most passionate anger has come from the Black community, I recognize that there are many well-informed non-Blacks who are equally disgusted with the recent injustices in Ferguson. These non-Blacks are marching, protesting, getting tear-gassed and arrested like everyone else. Others aren’t able to march, but they are voicing their discontent in other ways. I commend everyone who stands against injustice and everyone who upholds the constitution of the United States of America. As the Reverence Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” And “A house divided against itself can’t stand.” (Mark 3:25) So, let’s keep up the fight until we get it right. Together.