Warning: Post written on anger and Vicodin. Profanity and insults may follow.
Okay. So I watched the livestreams the night after the grand jury decisions, so this isn’t me repeating what the media is saying, or listening to someone else’s opinions. This is me seeing what physically happened, and commenting on it.
What happened in Ferguson was completely uncalled for and out of control. If I had sympathy for the protesters before, it is now gone. I saw what I can only describe as complete stupidity on behalf of the protesters. The police gave repeated verbal warnings for them to disperse. When the warnings went unheeded, when the police began using tear gas in attempt to disperse what was, by that point, an unlawful and unruly mob, they began shouting “F*** the police!” and yelling about police brutality and ‘collective punishment’, complaining about the ‘soldiers’ and ‘military vehicles’.
Then they complained, with a burning squad car in the frame, that they were being unjustly punished, and that it was a peaceful protest.
Now, I’m not one to endorse a police state or the absolute necessity of following the letter of the law. But when mobs have threatened riots and violence, including direct death threats against officers and their families, I’d want a couple of armored vehicles, too. When squad cars burn and buildings are looted and destroyed, you’ve lost all right to expect to be treated as a peaceful protest.
As far as the actual lack of indictment goes: I haven’t read the full report yet. I plan to. But this is not the first time something like this has happened. And given the fact that I just saw hundreds of black people acting clearly hostile towards police officers who had already deployed tear gas and who were standing defensively with loaded weapons, I don’t find it at all hard to believe that Mike Brown could have been doing something that warranted him being shot. Yes, yes, witnesses that he was surrendering, coroner’s reports, I’ve heard all that. I’ve also heard the exact opposite. No one had all the details up until now except for the grand jury, who decided that Officer Wilson shouldn’t be indicted.
My mother was alive, and local, in fact, when the Rodney King riots happened. It was a very similar situation. A bunch of black people blindly believing that the police are racists, that the justice system failed, that they’re all so oppressed and no one will help them, and then they loot and burn and destroy their own neighborhoods.
Maybe the fact that black people get shot and white people get arrested isn’t because of the racism of the officers on the scene. Maybe it’s because of the attitudes of the people in question. This whole ‘f*** the police’ attitude, the constant threats against law enforcement, those create an atmosphere of hostility that creates a very real danger for officers, who then defend themselves appropriately.
So don’t tell me that the rioters have your sympathy. Don’t tell me that justice wasn’t done. Is our justice system broken? Absolutely. Is this an example of it? No. The grand jury made the right call. It’s absolutely a tragedy that this happened, but it’s not because Officer Wilson is a racist, and it’s not because the whites are oppressing the blacks. It’s because certain stereotypes exist because they’re true.