The other night I was wide awake at 3am giving birth to a kidneystone. Admittedly, I had a few pain pills to help take the edge off of that unpleasant experience so let me preface what I’m going to say by making that admission. I found myself glued to CNN and listening to the police scanner (for St. Louis) and sitting in total disbelief that this was going on in America…
My first problem with Ferguson, Missouri is that they had a very promising 18 year old young man named Michael Brown that had all of the potential to be a world changer –we will never know, he was gunned down by a police officer in the streets, unarmed with his hands in the air. Not tased or tear gassed, he was shot. He was not shot one time, he was unloaded on. How did this happen? That’s the million dollar question. While it would be hard to accept that the Ferguson Police Department had a rogue officer on their force that had done a horrible thing we could eventually start the healing process. Instead of releasing the witness statements and dashcam video so we could start the aforementioned healing process the police department decided to do the opposite. They didn’t even have the decency to pick up this young mans body from the street, he laid there in a pool of blood for several hours. Horrible.
Needless to say, the public has expressed their outrage, understandably so. If this would have been my loved one that was gunned down I’d have been on the 10 o’clock news too, the sole recipient of my rage would have been the officer, it would have been bad for him the remaining hours of his life. I’ve never said I was perfect. I would have left it there. I say all of this to say I totally understand where the outrage from residents in Ferguson comes from. It’s hard to “walk this one out” in their shoes.
Now, here’s my second problem w/ Ferguson. This one pertains to the ones that have been in the street rioting, looting, burning businesses and shooting at people. This is not the way to handle this situation. While I share their outrage, if someone targets my business or my home they are going to find themselves in a bad way, after all I grew up in the Mississippi Delta –I’m not perfect.
I don’t have the answers to what all is going on in Ferguson. I do know that the police need to be transparent, stop sending the media away, let them in. Release the video, let us hear from the witnesses, give us access to the police officer. Do the right thing and maybe you can salvage your town and prevent more bloodshed. For those that are looting and burning the city and threatening the law abiding residents, stop making the headlines about you stealing Air Jordans and let’s all focus on the memory of Michael Brown.