So I got home around 4:30 am this morning. I think the riots were still going on, but apparently they started sometime earlier. Word was spreading that the Grand Jury had come back saying they were not going to indite the police officer involved in the shooting of Brown. Along with it came rage and destruction.
Rumors, reports, and facts are hard to figure out at this point. Narrative is important as is Fact. Truth, we all wish would hold sway, but interpretations of truth as a person’s narrative tend to hold sway more. Interpretations that led to fires that yet still burn into the afternoon the next day.
Justice, at least, was not served last night. Innocent people lost everything they had build at people screaming that they stood for Justice committed some of the most lawless, unjust acts to happen against Americans by their fellow citizens in nearly a decade. No, Justice was not served.
The Grand Jury acted as rightly as they could. Nearly 70 hours of testimony was heard by 60 witnesses, along with countless pieces of evidence. The story that comes from this is far from an innocent black man gunned down by an evil white officer. Unarmed though Brown was, everyone who has lived with an abusive spouse knows that you do not need a weapon to be a threat or to hurt someone. Brown, it seems, had been part of a robbery (or at least suspected of it) and instead of cooperating did attack the officer to the point of grabbing the cops gun and threatening to shoot him.
In the end, the Law was served. The Jury followed the Law, seeking to preserve the very thing that protects people from police brutality. The Law is about preserving the peace, about making sure that those who are innocent are not punished unjustly. The evidence has been released, it is there for all those to see. The Law is not Justice, not always at least, but it is the Law and we need it to protect us.
Is there a serious need to discuss police brutality, of arming cops like soldiers, and of police killing civilians. But according to some I have read, “half of ‘justified’ cops shootings are against white people.” While I cannot atm verify the truth of this statement, it would not surprise me. Few things do, these days, and publicizing cop on black violence certainly makes better news than cop on white. But that conversation cannot be started by punishing an individual wrongly.
I may write more on this later. Leave your thoughts below.