Essay / Lamonte Gambrell

What Happened in Ferguson is Fucked: Indicting Black Youth

Bad Cop

On the evening of August 9th, 18 year-old Michael Brown was shot at least 6 times – twice in the head –  and left to die in the streets for 4 ½ hours.

The man responsible for this murder was Officer Darren Wilson, a white police officer from Ferguson, Missouri.

November 24th, Missouri’s grand jury failed to indict Officer Wilson. That night – as expected – rioters stormed the streets outraged with the decision, smashing windows, destroying businesses, flipping cars – even set a few on fire too. Riots escalated as police shot tear gas into the crowds and rioters disappeared under clouds of gas that filled the air. Canisters of tear gas flew back and forth between police and outraged protesters the entire night. Hours later protests broke out in LA, New York City, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and Oakland blocking highways, disturbing the peace and causing traffic jams. After several days of rioting over 2,000 National Guard troops have been placed in Ferguson to police the suburban area.

The word indict actually means to proclaim or pronounce – to say something out loud. What is being said by the US judicial system in the case of Darren Wilson?

Michael Brown’s story is another case of a young black male being mistreated by the judicial system. Outraged with this injustice citizens have declared a civil war with those in power in Ferguson by rioting, protesting and boycotting Black Friday.

But Michael Brown’s death is just one of the many racial injustices that black citizens have faced in the past few years. Trayvon Martin, Eric Gardner; a few young black men whose killers have not been punished. One would think that officers would be careful not to use excessive or deadly force but in just the past week Tamir Rice – a 12 year-old black boy – was murdered by officers for having a toy gun.

With lives being lost and no one being held accountable for them the question has been raised: why are black Americans being indicted on the streets everyday  – why are we proclaimed guilty because of the color of our skin?

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