The grand jury has been deliberating the evidence in the police shooting of Michael Brown for quite some time now. Their decision is likely to come very soon. From my location far removed from the chaos, weighing the evidence that has been made public, through both official sources and through leaks, the decision is most likely going to be that it was a justified shooting and no charges will be filed.
Ever since the shooting happened, there have been angry groups “protesting” the police actions. “Protesters” have been threatening both police and private citizens alike. “Protesters” have been posting threats on social media indicating that unless they receive an indictment of Officer Wilson, they are going to attack law enforcement, posting pictures of people shooting cops as an example of “one way to deal with the police.” A group calling themselves “Operation Ferguson” says that not only Ferguson, but the entire country “will burn.” They are demanding “justice”.
What they want is not justice, but rather seek revenge for a slight, whether it is perceived or real doesn’t matter. That search was initially fueled by lies and irresponsible reporting. Justice is not achieved by exacting a pound of flesh, but thorough careful examination of the evidence; a weighing of the facts. Emotions have no bearing on justice, but they are the primary fuel for revenge.
I have seen the above threats on social media. I have seen the videos of “protesters” threatening the cops on the streets. I have heard the reports of assaults on both law enforcement and innocent, average Joe citizen who just happened to be in the wrong place. I am privy to some second-hand information about groups, such as the New Black Panthers, stockpiling weapons and ammo, and rumors that they plan to use said weapons on anyone with a badge if the grand jury does not issue the decision they seek.
Threats of violence, and violence itself, are never going to give anyone what they want, unless what they want is a war. Hopefully, that is not what is being sought.
Violent attacks on law enforcement will not change the grand jury decision. Rioting and destruction of private or state property will not bring back Mike Brown. Harming or killing innocent people in no way remotely equates to “justice”.
Please, for the sake of everyone, both in Ferguson and nationwide, we all need to step back and take a few deep breaths. We all need to calm our emotions, which at times can be quite difficult.
If you or I disagree with the decision handed down by the grand jury, whichever way they may find, there are productive ways to voice our disagreement; ways far more likely to gain both sympathy and support from a larger audience than violence ever could. I sincerely hope for everyone’s sake that cooler heads will prevail when the decision is released.
Finally, while I sit here calling for peace, please do not mistake my pleas for peace as a sign of weakness or fear, because it is neither. This is me, just like the rest of law enforcement, hoping for the best, but always prepared for the worst. I pray for all of us that we see the best, but I am ready if it turns to worst. The decision on how this situation proceeds lies solely in the hands of the people who have been making the threats.