On Monday, November 21, a grand jury decided not to indict the Ferguson police officer, Darren Wilson, for fatally shooting Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager. Since then protests and riots have sprung out not only in the St. Louis area, but across the nation.
It’s very rare for police officers to face indictment charges on a shooting or murder. That’s fairly reasonable; firing a weapon is part of the job after all. However, the decision not to indict Darren Wilson was unjust and incorrect.
According to Jamelle Bouie’s Slate article, “The jury was convinced by the available evidence that Wilson had reasonable grounds for shooting Brown, and wasn’t liable for a crime.” I understand that law enforcement can be a very stressful and high risk career, but that does not excuse Wilson’s actions. It’s unfair that Michael Brown is unable to go to college, spend Thanksgiving with his family this year, or even drink his first alcoholic beverage at 21.
As a result the Governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon, has had to hire hundreds of National Guard troops just to guard the streets of Ferguson as well as the police station. All this could have been avoided if Wilson did not shoot Brown or even if Wilson was indicted and prosecuted for his crimes against Brown. Instead hundreds of National Guards members are spending their Thanksgiving holiday outside at the freezing cold police station, protests are erupting throughout the nation, and the Brown family is still mourning the loss of their deceased son.