Tag Archives: grand jury

Kill first, ask questions later: Ferguson protests explained 140 characters at a time

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Yes, I know this is my second repost in a week, and I apologize. But … there is so much here that I want to share. Not the post itself – although that is hard-hitting, as most are on Deborah’s blog – but the links. Please, guys, take a look at the links.

Here’s the thing about Ferguson – one of the many things, as I see it – and the same thing applies to many of the other cases cited in the links: We allow ourselves to be side-tracked. We hear that police shot an unarmed (black) person, and we think “That’s terrible.” Five minutes later we hear that he had a criminal history, or was running away, or was resisting arrest, or was being black in the vicinity of a crime … and we think, “Well, the cops are only human. It sucks, but mistakes happen.”

This is the same thinking that shrugs off the deaths of a busload or a building or a school full of unarmed civilians as “collateral damage”. It’s thinking governed by the idea that the victim was not “one of us” and therefore their death matters less.

It does not matter less. They Do Not Matter Less Than You Do.

It is not okay that communities are setting inadequately trained, ill-prepared armed men loose on civilians in the name of service and protection. (Note: I’m giving the cops the benefit of the doubt here. I’m assuming that they’re not bullies with shiny buttons, but rather that they simply don’t know how to handle conflict effectively, they’re scared, and they panic.)

And then they get away with it, because grand juries refuse to indict. Again and again and again, grand juries shut down due process and refuse to let the legal system of this country do its job.

I don’t know what the solution is. I don’t have any plans to take to the streets in protest myself, any time soon. But I do know this is wrong. And it needs to stop.

The Monster in Your Closet

Many people seem to think in 140- (or fewer) character bites these days.

It’s hard to break complex news into 140-character bursts. Much is lost. But I’ll try. I want people to understand. Lives count on it.

Michael Brown and Ferguson are about more than Michael Brown or Ferguson. They are about every black man in every town in the United States.

Months of protesting have followed Michael Brown’s death. But why? He was a “thug.”

Beside, a grand jury found his killer innocent? Strange, since grand juries decide whether charges should be brought, not give verdicts.

Much was terribly wrong with this peculiar grand jury. Prosecutor McCulloch counted on the public not caring about the differences.

McCulloch seems to have counted correctly.

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