Written by Emma Toma
The word justice can be defined in many different ways based on the way the situation is being portrayed. Justice is used interchangeably with the words "fairness and equality." In any sort of situation, such as in a courtroom, at an office, wherever it is, most of us want to be treated as fairly as possible. People shouldn’t be judged based off of their skin color, along with many other examples of “unfair situations”. We all deserve to be treated equal. Based on the description of justice, I have came to a personal conclusion on whether or not the Ferguson case was just.
On August 9th 2014, 18 year old Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed by Darren Wilson, a white police officer, in Ferguson, Missouri. The shooting of the black teen has led to many protests, mainly within ferguson but also in many other states. Later, on Nov. 24, the St. Louis County prosecutor announced that a grand jury had decided not to charge Mr. Wilson for the murder of Michael Brown. This announcement angered many people which led to more protests, including violent and destructive ones. The problem with this case is that there are many different pieces of evidence. The variations of ‘evidence’ make it hard to depict which statements and observations are true. We know that before the shooting, there was a report made by a customer who had observed what appeared to be an altercation between the 6’4″ Michael Brown and a store employee that was nearly half his size. In the video surveillance cam, Brown was seen reaching over the counter to steal cigars, then when the clerk had confronted him, he proceeded to argue then shoved the him into the wall. Three minutes after a 911 dispatcher reported the incident, Brown had already been shot. It just so happens that Darren Wilson had been outside of the store already because he had seen Brown and his friend Dorian johnson previously jaywalking. After Brown had left the store, Wilson said that he saw Browns right hand full of cigars and noticed that he was wearing a black shirt, which was what the customer had reported to the police just a few minutes before. Wilson then reversed his car and from that point on there is no clear answer to what truly happened.
After reading many articles, looking for evidence, watching the news and the surveillance videos, I came to my personal conclusion that the incident in Ferguson was not an injustice. From my understanding, Wilson had tried to step out of his vehicle and Michael Brown had pushed him back down into his seat, Wilson said that Brown had punched him and was scratching him repeatedly, leaving Wilson with swells and cuts on his face. Wilson then reached for his gun and Michael reached for Wilsons gun as well, Wilson says that there were two shots made in the car, one which hit Brown in the arm and one that missed him completely. Brown then charged towards Wilson and then thats when he had shot, he charged once more and that’s when he shot again, Brown fell to the floor. Forensic evidence had proven that the shots were made within the car because Brown’s blood was on the interior door, on the gun, and on Wilson, proving the shot was made extremely close up. We can argue whether or not this information is true, but from what I have researched, this is what happened. The situation was just from my point of view because I came to the realization that Wilson had done it in fear of his own life. Brown had been harassing him and tried to take his gun and in fear of his life he shot, lets keep in mind that he had been shot only in the arm. I believe that if Brown would have either corroperated from the beginning or even stopped after the first shot on the arm, he could possibly still be alive to this day. I agree that the people of Ferguson and people wherever should be given the right to protest based on their beliefs on what happened, but when the situation becomes violent, that is when I believe it should be put to a stop. For a very short period of time, the protests were peaceful, but they became violent very quickly. Cars were smashed, lit on fire, as well as buildings, which burned to the ground, robberies occurred, along with many other forms of violent protesting. The most powerful thing I read while looking for evidence was a picture of people robbing a liquor store with the caption “ protesters honoring Michael Brown by doing that last thing he did before being shot.”I would not consider stealing from stores a good way to honor the young teen who was killed. A good way to honor him would possibly taking part in peaceful protesting, or public speaking, or anything thats not illegal I just find it a bit crazy that they would think this is a good way to handle the situation.
In all I personally think that the situation has been completely blown out of proportion. I believe this is because of social media and the lack of reasoning and evidence. The protests should have stayed non violent, maybe if they did, the police response wouldn’t have been as extreme.. Before jumping to conclusions that most police officers are racist against African Americans maybe people should sit down and read for a couple minutes about what is really going on.