There are always three sides to every story. For Ferguson, Missouri, it will be the cop’s side, the victim’s side and finally the truth. I have been very conflicted over the entire incident regarding Mike Brown. I hate driving and having to deal with folks who act as if the sidewalk were invented just for décor. Or those who wait until the traffic light turns green to begin crossing the street in front of oncoming traffic.
So on one hand, I understand the cop who told Mike Brown and his friend to get out of the middle of the street and walk on the sidewalk. On the other hand, jaywalking is not a capital offense, and it shouldn’t end up with the perpetrator dead, shot six times — four times in the arm and twice in the head.
On one hand, I’m proud to see the young people who are out protesting the circumstances of Mike Brown’s death. Our young people, who have been politically lackadaisical, are showing signs of political astuteness and consciousness that hasn’t been seen in years. On the other hand, there is nothing honorable in looting, burning down stores, stealing gym shoes, liquor, and hair extensions and basically living down to the low expectations that have been placed upon them.
On one hand, black Americans utilizing their rights of citizenship to protest are met with tear gas, explosives, growling dogs, weapons pointed at their heads, and armored tanks while those who illegally cross our southern border get water, an air-conditioned ride, guns holstered, and treated with respect and dignity.
I am not going to write an entire column about the pros and cons of the Mike Brown death investigation. Until all the facts are in, there is so much going on that it’s hard to take a definitive position on most aspects – except one. The cop’s life wasn’t in danger and thus Mike Brown should not have been shot six times. Add the shot that was fired inside the car and we know that the cop shot at him seven times. I don’t know how many bullets the officer’s gun held, but that is a lot of bullets for the crime of jaywalking.
The lack of transparency by the Ferguson Police Department isn’t helping. I had heard about Mike Brown stealing the cigars last week from a video posted on YouTube. The cop wasn’t aware that Mike Brown had stolen cigars at the time their paths crossed, but Mike knew he had and thus the interactions between the two of them was predicated on one of them knowing they had done something illegal while the other was in an obviously pissed off mood.
Now that we know the name of the officer involved, we need to know what that officer’s day was like prior to seeing Mike Brown and friend strolling down the street. Was the officer angry from a previous encounter? Had he gotten a cellphone call from his wife/girlfriend and was so pissed at them that Mike became the object of his wrath? So many questions need to be answered and those responsible for disseminating the official version should do so in a manner that shows getting to the bottom of this is on high on their agenda.
Lastly, I firmly believe that God sets the day and hour of our death. We don’t, however, get to choose the manner in which we die. Mike Brown’s tragic death is now marred by his decision to steal a package of cigars just prior to being killed.
This is a teachable moment for our young people to remind them that their death is always in the future of their actions, and they should be mindful that their actions don’t bring negativity to the circumstances of their demise.