You can usually get away with something for only so long. Eventually, the victims and those around them decide that they have had enough and take action. Sometimes the action is good and productive and sometimes the action is violent and destructive.
On Saturday, August 9, Michael Brown was shot and killed by Ferguson, MO police after a confrontation with a police officer for walking in the middle of the street. He was unarmed and allegedly had his hands raised in the air when he was shot multiple times as he was trying to run away. From all of the information available right now, this appears to look a lot like murder. And this wouldn’t exactly be an isolated occurrence of murder by police. Eric Garner was recently murdered in New York City by police officers but fortunately the truth was able to come out since the event was captured on video.
It seems like I see a story about the police murdering a civilian on an almost daily basis. They get away with it most of the time.
With the killing of Michael Brown, it seems as though this time might be different. People are upset in a way they do not normally get. The protests were immediate. A militarized response by the police to the protesting was also immediate. An uneasiness around the country for that kind of police presence soon followed. Because of this objection by the bulk of society to such a tactic, the military-style police presence has been removed.
When the police abuse their power and no justice follows, including the “good” cops remaining silent or making excuses for the bad ones, people tend to take matters into their own hands. Sometimes the response is healthy: people get more active in their communities to make them better places or they begin to hire private security forces to patrol their neighborhoods and track down criminals. Unfortunately, the response also can include people taking more drastic, violent measures.
I would like to make it abundantly clear that I am not advocating violence against anyone, but when the police and government show to people that they have no interest in delivering justice to their own agents, some people may take that as justification for payback. If the police do not hold their officers accountable for violent crime, there will be a few people out there who will start to kill cops in revenge. We saw it in Las Vegas when Jerad and Amanda Miller murdered two unsuspecting police officers as a response to the Bundy Ranch situation.
The Ferguson police could not have handled the Michael Brown situation any worse. They made the protest scenes look like the town had been transported to Iraq. They aimed a rifle at a protestor and even attacked and arrested journalists covering the story.
Fortunately, Anonymous has started OpFerguson, vowing to work to uncover the truth of what happened. Hopefully people take the lead of Anonymous and work the peaceful route throughout all of this. Those aware of the presence of Anonymous should help quell violent reactions that some might be feeling. Violence begets violence and war is nothing but destructive. The system that allows the police to be “more equal” than others can be torn down without killing a single person.
Moreover, police officers and departments need to understand that people are waking up. There will not be the tolerance for criminal violence by the police as there was before. If they value their jobs and their wellbeing, they will not defend and cover up the crimes that their fellow officers commit. If they do, they will only widen the gap of trust and stoke the hatred and disgust that people feel, putting targets on their own backs for the whackos that live among us.
I will not defend those who initiate such violent action against the police, but the writing is on the wall.