Behind the Non-Indictment in Ferguson
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Politics and Activism

Behind the Non-Indictment in Ferguson

There was no probable cause to find Officer Darren Wilson responsible enough to indict him on any grounds in the death of Michael Brown.

Behind the Non-Indictment in Ferguson

On Saturday, August 9, 2014, many lives were completely changed. Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was fatally shot by Darren Wilson, a white police officer, in Ferguson, Missouri, which is located directly outside of St. Louis. 

Brown and his friend, Dorian Johnson, were walking down the middle of a street in Ferguson when Wilson drove up and ordered the two boys to move to the sidewalk. Brown approached the police car and struggled with Wilson through the window of the police car until Wilson's gun was fired. It is unknown if that firing was intentional or unintentional, but after it was fired, Brown and Johnson ran in different directions. Wilson ran after Brown and shot Brown six times. The difficult and up-for-debate part of this altercation was whether Brown had his hands raised at the time he was shot or if he was moving towards Wilson with bad intent. 

This incident has ignited strong feelings across the nation, bringing back up the issues of racial discrimination and police brutality. Protests started quickly in Ferguson, with Michael Brown's parents leading vigils and members of the community leading marches and protests against the police. First the protesters pushed for the police department to release the name of the officer who had fired the shots; after that was achieved the protesters shifted their demands, pushing for a trial. These protesters have seen many prominent black men and women step forward to voice their concerns. This whole trial, however, has also raised the questions of whether a white person being fatally shot by a black cop could be such a prominent issue. 

The fact that Michael Brown was only 18 years old also plays into this tragic incident. He was a recent high school graduate, and was scheduled to start classes at Vatterott College in Missouri. Brown was unarmed and was originally told in the street that he was "blocking traffic" before things escalated so quickly. 

The two sides of the case are not only arguing for the people they are representing but also are discussing the number of shots that were fired into Brown's body by Wilson. Wilson claims that Brown assaulted him and was reaching for his gun, forcing Wilson to react with fatal shots, but eyewitnesses have said that Brown had his hands up at the time of the fatal shot. 

The jury consisted of 6 white men, 3 white women, 2 black women and 1 black men. While the jurors individual comments on the case have yet to be released, they came back with the verdict of no indictment. Indictment is basically a formal accusation of some malice act so with the ruling; Officer Wilson was not found responsible for committing an act that could condemn him nor of shooting Brown with malice or with premeditation. It was acknowledged that there were many different accounts on what actually happened in the few seconds when Wilson shot Brown multiple times. Some report Brown had his hands up, others report that Brown had begun to approach the police officer. This case was fueled with personal opinions, different media rumors, and threats of riots. After this announcement, riots ensued in Ferguson and other cities across the country, and many organizations have started to organize protests to hold in the future. 

Originally, I thought that the movie Remember the Titans and the book "To Kill a Mockingbird" were things of the past, not applicable to the world that I now live in. With riots not only in Ferguson but across the nation, it begs the questions; how do we get over racial issues once and for all, how long with these riots last, and what will the international reaction be? 

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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