Ferguson Verdict Updated: a Mother’s Cry & a City on Fire
It has been three months and two weeks since Michael Brown was shot and killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Mike Brown’s case has brought attention from across the nation as well as internationally as many protest for Wilson’s arrest and others support his actions. The death of Mike Brown resurfaced the state of race in America, the issues of police brutality and so much more. The New York Times reported the grand jury has finally reached a decision that will be publicized at 8 p.m.
UPDATED: At 9pm EST I stood in Union Square with the rest of the weary and raged NYC waiting patiently for the final word on the decision whether or not to indict Darren Wilson. “Mic check! Mic Check! No Justice! No Peace!” screamed throughout the unsettled protestors, myself included. At 9pm, everyone kept there eyes on their phone searching for whatever news station they could find with up-to-the minute live coverage.
And then it was a shout “No indictment!” A voice broken, a crowd shattered. I stood there holding a fellow friend and activist as tears ran down her face. It only took minutes before others more angry than hurt, or some who’d transferred their pain to anger began singing “F*** the Police,” followed by Bob Marley to Nina Simone. ALL these voices, all this pain, all those cameras. New York City just as many cities across the country stood in solidarity with Ferguson on last night.
I’m sure you have already witnessed, Ferguson erupted as well. From peaceful protests to riots and fires, the people of Ferguson are understandably enraged. The jury consisted of 12 individuals – six white men, three white women, two Black women and ONE Black man. It only takes nine from the jury to be in agreement with the decision. We are all sitting on the edge of are seats, all looking to plan what happens next.
Let us choose not to forget. Connect with local organizations in your community to see what may be done to not only stand in solidarity, but to change the statistic of every 28 every an unarmed Black man is killed by a cop.
The Department of Justice can still continue their investigation and bring charges against Darren Wilson. We stand with, Lesley McSpadden, her hurt and frustration must not be ignored.
The St.Louis Dispatch reports this morning:
The tally of damage mounted Tuesday morning in the wake of the grand jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson.
At least 61 people were arrested, said St. Louis County Police Sgt. Brian Schellman. Charges ranged from burglary to trespassing to receiving stolen property.
FERGUSON – Shortly after 1:30 a.m., St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar spoke with reporters at a press conference after a night of looting and burned-out businesses after the grand jury announcement. He said he was grateful nobody was killed but disappointed at the amount of damage in the Ferguson area.
“What I’ve seen tonight is probably much worse than the worst night we ever had in August, and that’s truly unfortunate,” he said.
He said that there was basically “nothing left” along West Florissant between Solway Avenue and Chambers Road. “Frankly, I’m heartbroken about that,” he said.
Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson said, “We talked about peaceful protest, and that did not happen tonight. We definitely have done something here that’s going to impact our community for a long time…that’s not how we create change.”
Belmar said that officers did deploy tear gas near West Florissant and Chambers roads and a highway patrol lieutenant was hit by a glass bottle. He said as far as he knew police did not fire shots but there was plenty of gunfire in the area. He said he personally heard at least 150 shots.
He said he and Johnson drove around earlier and “got lit up,” and he was surprised they were not hit. Commanding officers were hesitant to leave officers at road blockades because of so much gunfire in those particular areas, he said.
They reported one shooting in the 9100 block of Halls Ferry Road and a report of one near the McDonald’s on West Florissant Avenue.
They reported 29 arrests in and around Ferguson. They seized one handgun, he said. Two St. Louis County Police cars were torched, he said.
“Change is created through our voice, not the destruction of our community,” said Johnson.
The NY Times pre-decision coverage:
FERGUSON, Mo. — A grand jury deliberating over the fate of Darren Wilson, the white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., has reached a decision in the case, according to a spokesman for the lawyers for the family of the teenager, Michael Brown.
The spokesman, Adner Marcelin, said that prosecutors notified the family that the grand jury decision would be announced later Monday. Gov. Jay Nixon flew into St. Louis.
The St. Louis area has been steeped in anxiety for months as it has waited for a decision by the grand jury, which has been meeting since Aug. 20 to consider criminal charges in the Brown case. The jury, made up of nine whites and three blacks, resumed deliberations Monday.
Residents and business owners have said that if Officer Wilson is not indicted, they fear an immediate repeat of the protests that roiled Ferguson in August.