There has been much division over the happenings of Ferguson, MO these past few months. For those who may be totally unaware, Michael Brown, an 18 year old black man was killed by a white police officer on August 9th, 2014.
Some believe that Darren Wilson (the cop) killed Michael Brown (the young man) in cold blood. Others believe that Darren Wilson was attacked by Michael Brown and in order to protect himself killed Michael Brown. Some would say we should just wait until the jury comes out with their decision.
While I do believe that the Justice System needs to run it’s course, I also believe that we need to assure that the truth is being fed to the jury and the general population.
The issue with Ferguson is that the controllers of the narrative should be the eyewitnesses not the Ferguson Police Department (who had been under investigation from the Department of Justice even before Michael Brown’s killing).
My fear is that the jury is likely being fed evidence in the same way that we are being fed evidence. The evidence is selective and much of it is untrue. So the question is, “Who controls the narrative?”
After the murder of Mike Brown, the Ferguson police chief makes the statement on national news that Mike Brown was killed within 35 feet of the police car. Yet in fact he was over 100 feet away. Why would the police chief not state the actual distance? Could he have been making it appear that Darren Wilson was indeed in danger of his life? It is definitely more believable why a police officer would fear for his life when there is a danger 35 feet away as opposed to 100 feet away.
Missouri State Representative Jeff Roorda also serves as Vice President of Shield of Hope- the charitable wing of the Fraternal Order of Police union. This organization has raised over half a million dollars for Darren Wilson. Why is money even needed? He is still on the payroll. He has yet to be charged with a crime and thus has no legal fees. These funds are not to help him in a time of need but rather appear to be payment for a job well done.
Jeff Roorda has often stepped in as a spokesperson for the St. Louis County Police yet he was fired from the police force of Arnold (St. Louis suburb) in 2001 for filing a false statement against a suspect in 1997 and then against his own police chief in 2001. Roorda later became police chief of another St. Louis suburb and a business manager for the St. Louis Police Officers Association.
Is this one of the people that we want controlling the narrative of what actually took place in Ferguson? One who has made it very clear that he doesn’t want police wearing body cameras?
A few weeks ago the St. Louis Post Dispatch released an article stating that there was substantial evidence that sided with Darren Wilson’s story. Most believe these so-called facts were leaked by the Ferguson Police Department. But under further scrutiny, it is obvious that the information leaked didn’t validate what they were in fact trying to claim. Watch Lawrence O’Donnell from MSNBC press the forensic pathologist.
Check out the statement following this report from the Justice Department: “The department considers the selective release of information in this investigation to be irresponsible and highly troubling. Since the release of the convenience-store footage, there seems to be an inappropriate effort to influence public opinion about this case.”
Why is the Ferguson Police releasing selective information, even when it is untrue? Because they know that if you change the narrative, you win the people. Why was no police report filed after the murder, which in fact goes against Missouri law? Because they needed time to put a story together. Even with three months, their story is falling apart. Why? Because people are questioning the narrative.
How we view the police will determine whether we take what the police say at face value or dig deeper. I get nervous every time a police car is behind me. Why? Because I have had dozens of bad experiences with the police. Unlike many Americans, I don’t live in Mayberry. While there are many good cops in my neighborhood, there are many bad cops also in my neighborhood.
I’ve had a gun pointed at me about 6x in my life. Never by a stick up man. Always by a cop. You know how scary that is? Because I am white I know the cops can only get away with so much with me. They don’t have the same fear with black men. They do what they want as is seen with the following situations of which all happened recently.
Police in Beavercreek, OH kill John Crawford while holding an unloaded BB gun in Walmart.
Highway Patrol in Columbia, SC unloads on a man at a gas station.
Police in NJ arrested Marcus Jeter for “resisting arrest” and “trying to take his gun” but didn’t know that their setup was caught on camera.
Police in Brooklyn, NY brutally beat a 16 year old kid and are caught on video.
Silence lets injustice continue. We cannot remain silent. We must assure that police do not create the narrative they want to be told. We must not believe that every cop is a good cop. We must not believe that every young black man is a criminal. I side with the peaceful protests of Ferguson and call for my white brothers and sisters to listen to the anger and frustration of the protestors. Anger is not an evil. The Bible commands us to be angry. Yet let’s direct the anger into seeing justice played out in our cities across this country. Let’s see the end to senseless deaths of our black brothers and sisters at the hand of those who we pay to serve and protect.