Chaos has consumed the town of Ferguson ever since the verdict came down from the jury on Nov 24 not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the murder of Michael Brown. Violence that erupted throughout the town of Ferguson left a haze of smoke in its wake the following morning.
Peaceful protests in various other cities have crisscrossed the nation from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. Some groups of people chanted and marched. Others lied down in the streets, often in the middle of a busy intersection. Still, these protesters acted peacefully, as is their right.
Michael Brown’s parent had their lawyer offer a statement on their behalf, believing that if they spoke in person, anger and emotions would prevail. In their opinion, the justice system is flawed, and they will continue to seek reparations for the death of their son.
When the verdict was read, it was firmly pointed out that despite public opinion, only the twelve people on the jury saw every piece of evidence and heard each of the witnesses statements. That being said, based on the violent protests that followed in Ferguson, the public had already declared Officer Darren Wilson guilty of murder. They didn’t care which count he should be indicted for – only that he pay for what happened.
According to pictures and evidence released since the jury’s verdict was announced, more proof exists contrary to public opinion. Some of the witnesses reportedly did not see the encounter completely, and admitted to simply repeating information from other witnesses that believed Michael Brown had his hands up and was non-confrontational.
Officer Darren Wilson spoke out after the verdict was read, and described Michael Brown as “crazy” and stated that he feared for his life. He remarked that the size of Brown, compiled with his confrontational nature resulted in a situation where Wilson believed he had no other choice but to shoot at Brown. When the gunshot did not stop Brown, he shot more, resulting in his death.
Despite the evidence and witness statements finally released, the family and the public still feel that justice was not served. However, they must keep in mind that one of the jury’s responsibilities is to prove the accused guilty “beyond a responsible doubt.” This means if there is any possible doubt regarding the guilt of the accused, he is innocent.
According to the Constitution of the United States, defendants are innocent until proven guilty. If they cannot be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, then justice has been served. Given the inconsistencies and retractions of witness statements, it seems, in my opinion, that the jury made the correct decision.
The violent protests that have occurred in Ferguson are seemingly attempts to bully officials into finding something to charge Wilson for. In addition, those protesters are destroying the community in which they live. Unfortunately the entire community of Ferguson must suffer for the actions of a few. Who will bring them justice?