“No Indictment” read the headlines on America’s news outlets. After months of waiting for the Ferguson jury, no charges were made for Darren Wilson, the officer who fatally shot unarmed, 18-year-old Michael Brown.
History has proved to us that we live in a heavily policed society. While most of the protesters in Ferguson marched peacefully, this was yet another example of militarized police response to a mostly nonviolent protest. The chaos that was caused by a few protesters may not have helped the situation, but when the scene is met with what is similar to a military force, there is bound to be more harm than good. When local police departments are under the Department of Defense Excess Property Program (1033 Program), providing cops with military equipment, one must begin to question, why are military weapons being disbursed to local officers?
Obama quoted on CNN: “Police must work with the community, not against it”. But when one lives in a town like Ferguson, where police care more about meeting revenue quota than helping poor communities, it is easy to understand that this type of environment consists more of police opening fire than trying to work with the community, as written in a Washington Post article. Obama states that we have made progress in race relations, but mentions that there are still problems, and communities of color are “not making these problems up.”
What happened in the streets of Ferguson the night the grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson, was less rage than what took place in the courtrooms. Courtroom rage occurs behind closed doors, where decisions are made based on privilege and authority. Real rage should be defined as systemic racism. Real rage is cloaked with laws, and it has been justified for decades.
According to the Washington Post, The grand jury met 25 times before coming to a decision. Since August 9th, the day the fatal shooting took place, Darren Wilson has been silent. On November 25th he shared his side of the story. More than three months and an unlimited access of white privilege, Wilson had just enough time to put together his side of the story, justifying, modifying, and glossing it with a heavy coat of white supremacy.
According to the New York Times, Wilson explains when he grabbed Brown, he felt like a “5-year-old holding on to Hulk Hogan”. Brown was shot 12 times and Wilson suffered minor sunburn-like bruises. “Hulk’s” aftermath would consist of a lot more than a few red bruises – comparing Brown to Hulk Hogan does nothing more than contradict Wilson’s side of the story. It transforms the victim into a symbol of fear, much like George Zimmerman transformed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin into an evil figure. The villain in this story is the one who opened fire 12 times for fear of a boy with less power. Too often the criminal becomes the victim and because of this, more Darren Wilsons have access to guns and badges.
This is just one example of injustice out of a countless number of cases, and many that go unnoticed. The mass incarceration of black and brown bodies goes to prove that America’s justice system has a long way to go. The Guardian reports that the Ferguson cops arrest black citizens three times more often than they do white people. When protesters hold up signs that read “Black Lives Matter”, it is because their voices aren’t heard, because their opportunities in society are limited, because to them, these signs will say more about Brown’s tragedy than the media ever will.