Police and Military Stakeholder’s Final Reflection

For approximately the past two weeks, The FergusonPrj4 has been sending out tweets several times a day into the Twittersphere to investigate and study people’s reactions to each stakeholder’s point of view on the topic of the Ferguson case. From the Police and Military stakeholder, I sent out information and tweets about Police and Military personnel’s reactions to both the verdict of Darren Wilson’s case, and the reactions to the protests that have occurred because of the shooting and killing of Michael Brown. Through my tweets, I tried to put out relevant information pertaining to what the Ferguson and St. Louis Police thought about the events of this case, in which I found several articles documenting the thoughts of Jon Belmar, Chief of St. Louis Police Department. In addition, to document my findings of Military personnel’s opinions of the case, I found several articles that documented the thoughts of Military veterans’ opinions of the events of Ferguson, and even found an article in which active Military personnel urged the National Guard, who were ordered to help keep the city of Ferguson safe from active protesters, to join in with the protesters as they believed an injustice had been committed in the shooting of Michael Brown and non-indictment decision of Darren Wilson. Though we did not receive many responses from our tweets, it was still quite interesting to learn about the Police and Military’s point of view on the Ferguson case, and more broadly issues of social justice, in addition to the other three stakeholders’ points of view as well. The most significant message that I took from this project is how crucial social media is in spreading information about issues of social justice, or rather injustice, and how crucial it can be in starting entire movements in the hope of social change.

The group process of this project worked really well. The fact that we were able to perform this project from four different stakeholders and their points of view really brought a diversity of opinions and ideas to the table, and helped us create a full story of the Ferguson case and how people responded to it. I think this project would not have been able to incorporate so many different opinions and points of view about this case and topic had it been done by one person. Everyone contributed in the group equally and accurately depicted their stakeholder’s opinions and point of view about the shooting of Michael Brown and jury decision on the non-indictment of Darren Wilson. I feel that if we had more time to perform this project, we would have received more attention to our twitter account and may have received more responses with a diversity of opinions about each stakeholder’s views of this social justice event. This project was a great learning experience, and hopefully in the future, someone else, with more time, can continue our work and really delve into the responses and opinions that individuals provide about such issues of environmental injustice.

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Police and Military Stakeholder’s Final Reflection

Reflection of Police and Military Stakeholder

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/

Reflection of Police and Military Stakeholder