Reflecting on Ferguson

By Jacob Rivas

            With the upcoming holiday celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it’s important to remember why we have the day off. The recent events in Ferguson work as a reminder that King’s “Dream” may not be fully realized.   Most people have turned on their television and have seen  the riots taking place all around the United States but some don’t know why it’s happening. Most of the violence is the outcome to the Ferguson trial in which unarmed 18 Year old Michael Brown was killed by Officer Darren Wilson. The official truth has not been revealed due to the case not containing enough evidence after ten weeks of investigation. The shooting occurred on August 9, 2014 in Ferguson Missouri. Officer Darren Wilson believed that Brown was in possession of stolen property. Reports say that Brown was walking with a friend (Dorian Johnson) when Officer Wilson drove up and noticed that Brown matched the description of the robbery. Officer Wilson asked them to get on the sidewalk.

Wilson’s testimony:

Wilson claimed that Brown had insulted him and soon began to assault him inside of his vehicle and that he saw Brown had handed his friend stolen cigarillos. Wilson also stated that he had pulled out his gun and aimed it at Brown while telling him to get on the ground but Brown had grabbed his gun and twisted it to aim at his leg. Wilson gained control of the deadly weapon but the weapon failed to fire. He soon attempted again, but Brown took off running east.  After calling for backup he pursued him while yelling at him to get on the ground. Brown turned and began to charge Wilson causing him to fire shots,one hitting him in the head. Police showed up 15 to 20 seconds later, and he was escorted to the police station.

Johnson’s testimony:

Johnson, Brown’s friend who accompanied him, testified that Wilson had called them over and had grabbed Brown’s neck and began to choke him. He said that he never tried to reach for Wilson’s gun, and that Wilson grabbed it and began to fire from his vehicle causing him to let go of Brown. Brown tried to flee and was shot once in the back. He also claimed that he had turned around attempting to surrender and he said, “I don’t have a gun. Stop shooting!” but Wilson continued to fire, killing Brown.

 All in all the case was dropped due to not having enough evidence to prove Wilson guilty. Brown’s mother, Lesley Mcspadden, stated, “We need the world to know what is going on in Ferguson and we need justice.” In an interview with CNN, Brown’s parents stated that they did not believe Wilson’s testimony and that they did not believe that their son insulted an officer and attempted to reach for his gun. Due to the death of his stepson, Louis Head, wanted to burn down the city. After the decision, Darren Wilson has resigned as a police officer and does not know where to go next.

As a result of the court’s decision in this case, riots exploded throughout the country insinuating that race is the reason. Opinions vary on this issue, however, the speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. serve as an excellent source to use as reflection.

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