As I represent the Police and Military stakeholder, I have found many differing articles and responses to the Ferguson case and no-indictment decision of Darren Wilson, the police officer who ultimately shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown. As I expected, Ferguson police, and police officers all over the country, have been extremely busy after the decision was released to not indict Wilson, due to several riots and protests all over the U.S. Before I started this project, I really did not know much about the Ferguson case and did not have an accurate grasp of what events had occurred, or even the parties involved in this case, such as the name of Officer Darren Wilson, and even the reason behind the shooting of teenager Michael Brown. One of the most significant learning outcomes of this project, for me, is the education about such social injustices and the involvement of race in such cases that have to do with Police and their handlings with people and proposed suspects.
When researching Police officers responses and views to the Ferguson case, I found that there were not a whole lot of responses to the situation or tactics performed by Wilson, but rather responses to the aftermath of the case and what officers’ views were on the subsequent protests that have taken place since the death of Michael Brown. Ferguson and St. Louis County Police departments have taken what most consider “extreme” measures to disperse protesters and perform their duties. For example, Police in Ferguson have been equipped with high-powered rifles, new riot gear, and military-like equipment to threaten protesters and reduce the risk of violent events from occurring. Jon Belmar, Chief of St. Louis County Police, has backed the use of military-grade equipment for scare tactics in light of recent protests in Ferguson and surrounding areas. What I found to be quite interesting however were the responses of active Military personnel and Military veterans, who claim that Ferguson Police responses are incorrect or unmerited, as they believe that the use of Military-grade equipment is too extreme for the protest situations in which they are dealing with. As the Ferguson Police department prepared for massive protests before the decision of the case was to be released, they asked for help from the National Guard to help maintain safety in the city of Ferguson and surrounding areas. Again, I found it very interesting that the response from active Military personnel to the National Guard was to stand-down, and even join in with the protesters, as they believed that Ferguson Police had violated both human and constitutional rights from their actions, killing “an unarmed, college-bound Black youth in broad daylight,” and responding to “constitutionally-protected protests with extreme violence and repression” (Bernabe, “Military Veterans Send Urgent Letter to National Guard In Ferguson Telling Them to Stand Down”).
Moving forward, and hopefully in the next few days, it will be interesting to hear responses from these two parties as more and more events are occurring everyday. It will be interesting to hear responses related to Darren Wilson’s newest decision to resign from the force in the up-coming days. New things are surfacing everyday, and being involved in the media will hopefully allow us to capture reactions from both Police and Military personnel. What are your opinions of the Police and Military personnels’ responses to the events of Ferguson?
For your consideration, the article quoted in the second paragraph, documenting Military Veterans’ views of the Ferguson case and the protests occurring as a result of the decision of the case can be viewed at this link: http://www.mintpressnews.com/military-veterans-send-urgent-letter-national-guard-ferguson-telling-stand/199268/