Monday, November 24, 2014

Ferguson Fallout


Throughout the day, the media has been hinting at and downright promoting the news that a verdict would be reached as to whether or not charges will be brought up on Officer Darren Wilson. For months, riots, race baiting, and allegations have been regular occurrences since the shooting occurred in August. Every time news was leaked from Ferguson, the same cycle repeated itself: judgments, accusations, and race baiting.

While there was some speculation to the contrary, the decision not to indict was not a surprise. Given the fact that they knew what was going to happen, I give the people in charge of making that decision a lot of credit for sticking to the facts that were presented. They know that while we cannot say with 100% certainty what happened during the altercation, there is simply not enough evidence to support an indictment.

That is something that seems to be lost on those taking to the streets this evening… no one knows exactly what happened and no one has been able to come forth with evidence that would secure and indictment. Even the eye witness testimonies contradicted one another. Like many things, we were not there so we can’t say for certain what exactly happened.

However, there are more disturbing undercurrents to this whole situation. The contempt that many people feel toward law enforcement that has been on display is itself contemptible. People refuse to acknowledge the nature of the job and the risks that each officer takes on a daily basis. These men and women risk their lives putting themselves in the middle of chaos and are asked to make split second decisions in those moments. They should be praised for the work that they do not chastised for not acting fast or slow enough.

While there are undoubtedly ‘bad apples’ here and there that doesn’t mean that entire departments or law enforcement as a whole should be put on trial in the media. And, when it comes down to it, very few people are willing to put themselves in that position. These people are trained to take the best course of action to ensure public safety and to subdue or eliminate threats to that safety when necessary.

But, honestly, all these riots and protesters aren’t really looking for justice. They were searching for an excuse to violently vent their frustrations with the world. Unfortunately, Darren Wilson, law enforcement, their own community, and, as it turns out, Israel are the ones that have already been convicted of causing their lives to be less than utopian.