By: Cristian Delgado Ramos
A press conference took place in the UPRM with the following three panelists: Dr. Christopher Powers, Mike Boilie and Attorney Jose Negron about the controversial shooting of Michael Brow in Ferguson Missouri. Questions were directed to them inorder to receive information about this topic.
Catherine E. Shoichet, a new reporter for CNN reported the following facts. On August 9, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri a white police officer, Darren Wilson fatally shot 18-year-old black male, Michael Brown six times. Officer Wilson told investigators he feared for his life, yet reports claim Brown was unarmed and had his arms raised at the moment he was shot dead. Officer Wilson said Brown and his friend, Dorian Johnson, struggled through the window of his SUV after he ordered them to walk on the sidewalk, as they were walking through the middle of street. During this struggle one shot was fired, either intentionally or as result of the struggle. Brown and Johnson then fled in different directions, moments later Brown laid dead in the street in a pool of his own blood.
The people of Ferguson believe that racism is clearly linked to the shooting of the unarmed black youth 18-year-old. On-going protests both violent and peaceful; have been the response to this event. Some of the sociological issues being protested are, racial profiling, the militarization of the police, and the criminalization of Black male youth. Racism in Missouri has a long history. Missouri has attracted many racist groups in the past decades such as Neo-Nazis, the once powerful Ku Klux Klan, and religious extremists groups. There are still white supremacists group today in Missouri for example; The Council of Conservative Citizens, headquartered in St. Louis, represents southern “white resistance” and its historical roots date back to1950s. On there website they claim that CCC is “the only serious nationwide activist group that sticks up for white rights!” Critics such as Luke MacBrown from LGTB club say all the do promoting hatred of blacks, Jews, gays and lesbians, and Latino immigrants.
When Browns mother was interviewed on the CBC news with Keith Boag about the racism that mainly black youth boys face in Ferguson, she said she told her son “People do have these preconceived ideas about who you are just because of what others have done or because of somebody’s fear of unknown… so unfortunately, you’re going to be stereotyped, and sometimes you’re going to be treated in a way that’s really unfair. I just need you to know how to handle it in way that’s not going to make things worse for you”. This ideology is shared by the people in Ferguson. When asked about the idealism of racism, Dr. Christopher Powers, a Professor of comparative literature a panelist brought in to discuss the Ferguson topic, shared an incredible and deeply penetrating response. He stated “The actual thought of race is racial profiling”.
Looking at the Ferguson event from a more technical perspective, raises the question of weather the shooting can be justified? The investigation authorities are inciting is built around, if Brown posed a threat – gun or no gun. In these types of cases the courts have tended to lean just a tad bit more to the officers’ sides to the dangers of an officers job and public safety. Federal courts are very clear that there are times an officer can shoot people in the back when they are running away, because these victims might pose a threat to other pedestrians. A example of this is the 1987 supreme court case, Tennessee vs. Garner, were police officers shot a burglar dead while he was fleeing and jumping a fence.
Attorney Jose Negorn stated “the only way the shooting could be justified is of Brown posed a threat to the officer”. Yet to this moment there is no concert evidence that Brown was a threat to officer Wilson or public safety.