Gun violence has been at it’s all time high in gaining attention from media over the past couple of weeks especially because of what has happened in Ferguson, MO. (For those that don’t know where that is it’s a city in the northern part of St. Louis County.) There are many articles that talk about the timeline and the unjust violence involved in the Michael Brown case. A good outline for the community to read would be the one by USA Today. There have been some irregularities in the Michael Brown case and some witnesses are talking about different things at different times and they saw different reactions from Michael. The interesting thing that many people don’t realize is that apparently, Michael Brown had been at a robbery just moments prior. This doesn’t justify the killing but it does explain some of the actions on the police officer’s part.
While people wait for this to unfold, it’s important to remember what this community has experienced with their own people.
The loss of individuals in situations involving senseless violence by policemen is all too familiar. In August of 2010, a man was senselessly shot by a police officer in Seattle. By February, the man who shot John T. Williams a woodcarver (4 bullets in less than 4 seconds and shows up in a video) had no criminal charges against him. He had to go on paid leave from the force after the shooting. He resigned from the police force on February 16, 2011 and just like the Michael Brown case, there are no clear indicators on whether the police officer was in the wrong. The woodcarver had a knife. It was the policeman’s judgment that he would stab him with the knife.
There’s a lot of confusion on what really happened during the Michael Brown case. Witnesses are saying one thing, the police are saying another. It’s a media festival but here’s something else that should help this community remember what it’s like to lose a member of our community.
“I was screaming down the street, ‘He’s deaf, he’s deaf, he’s deaf,’” said Katina Crumpton, Mr. Shaw’s 24-year-old niece. She said her uncle was surrounded by four
or five police officers who fired at least twice while he was 15 feet away from them. Ms. Crumpton also said that Shaw’s mother, Annie Shaw, screamed at the officers not to shoot her son. Both women’s pleas were cut short by gunfire, she said. “It was a cruel, crying shame what happened here today,” Ms. Crumpton told the Detroit Free Press. “This madness has to stop.” (Detroit – 2000)
Mr. Shaw was another victim of gun violence and this time he was in Detroit. As the community has seen and heard many horror stories, the African American community is no stranger to stories that begin with an African American male and a police officer. This story almost always ends in somebody being gravely injured or dead. With the stories that this community knows too well remembering that the Michael Brown’s family needs all the help, prayers, support, thoughts, meditation, and so forth to help them get through these hard times. People that go through this need to know that other people are going to think of them as they reel from the loss of a family member. The same goes for the officer and their family. While they are the ones that have acted and essentially ended somebody else’s life, they have to live with the mistake.
Police officers may be the ones in the wrong here but they are also the ones that have to live with the memory of killing somebody. That is a powerful image to live with.