Like many, if not most of you, i was assuming that the Grand Jury would not indict Officer Wilson. I was hoping that they would at least find something to charge him with, but i did not really expect it to happen. I figured that i would be ready for the Grand Jury’s decision.
But i was not. I listened as the explanations were offered and i suddenly realized that tears were slowly coming down the side of my face.
I have not had faith in the US judicial system during my adult life, but i still found the decision more than i was prepared to take.
In these cases of police lynching, as my wife noted this evening, no one ever seems to explain how it is that an individual who is trained to deal with harrowing circumstances, finds it necessary to fire their weapon twelve times against an unarmed, alleged assailant.
But there is something else that probably needs to be openly discussed. I thought about this when i was in the occupied Palestinian territories and witnessed the manner in which the Palestinians are treated like dogs by the Israeli occupiers. There is a deep anger and resentment that emerges among the oppressed that frequently evolves into rage (sometimes open; other times less than open). In those moments one can find one’s self saying or doing something unexpected because one is simply tired–in a bone deep way–of being treated as less than human. In the short time that i was in occupied Palestine i, personally, was filled with rage, a rage so deep that there were times that i wanted to challenge the Israelis…scream at them for their inhumanity…only to remember the countless “Michael Browns” in the USA who have lost their lives at the hands of the authorities, almost always demonized and caricaturized; almost always with their death explained away as justifiable.
I don’t know what happened on that summer day in Ferguson. I do know that a young, unarmed black man was robbed of his future. Could he have been argumentative? Quite possibly. Could he have gotten into an altercation with the officer? Certainly. But are we supposed to believe that even under those circumstances that an unarmed, sane person would decide to charge someone with a fully loaded weapon? Over an argument of some sort? And we are supposed to believe that a police officer has no training to prepare for such a possibility and can only respond with deadly force?
I am sick to my stomach about the decision and the numerous similar such decisions in these cases of extra-judicial killings of youth of color. I am sick of the terror that it inspires in communities of color across the USA.
The lynchings must stop!