Here's the thing. I am a moderate who leans liberal on a lot of issues. I know that what I am about to say is not popular with liberals. But...
I can see how it's possible that Ferguson has a problem with police who jump blacks aggressively and still how what happened to Brown was not something for which the officer should have been indicted.
If the reason Ferguson has so many arrests of blacks for traffic infractions is because the police stop a black differently than a white, that's different than if it's because the blacks have an arrogance that leads them to purpose to break laws because they feel the system is stacked against them. Do they feel that way because it is? Or do they feel that way because they have leaders and media who tell them that it is?
If I had been on the Trayvon Martin murder jury, based on all I have read of the evidence, I'd have found that shooter guilty of murder in the second degree at the least. I doubt he started out that night thinking he was going to murder someone, but he was aggressive, looking for trouble and had NO reason to stop the young man. Wearing a hoodie and walking at night does not qualify as a reason.
But Michael Brown is different. He had committed a robbery of a $50 box of cigars. He had manhandled a clerk, all on videotape. He was in a very aggressive mood as is seen by that tape.
What made these two young men then walk down the middle of the street? Who feels they have a right to walk down the middle of a street? I will tell you what I think when I see someone doing that-- they are on drugs or they are looking to be aggressive. As a citizen, I avoid them. Officers don't have that option. They are there to keep the law.
When this officer heard on his radio that there had been a robbery and he knew these two young men were carrying something, he had a duty to stop them to find if they were connected to the robbery. His job was not to look the other way.
According to his testimony and what others saw with Brown reaching into into the patrol car, the young man was as aggressive as he had been earlier. I wonder if they drug tested him as it seems as though something else was going on for how he was acting or was he just growing into the strength he had as a man and was no 'gentle giant' as his family claimed. Gentle maybe with them but not with anyone where he could use his size to gain power.
Nobody will know if that officer felt he had an option and shot Brown anyway. He does have his testimony out there -- testimony the grand jury heard. He said he told the youth to stop and to get on the ground. It's what I'd have expected an officer to say based on films I have seen of arrests. If Brown had done that, there'd have been no dead man but he likely would have gone to prison. When he walked toward the officer, hands in the air or not (and autopsy results that I read said that is up for debate), he was being aggressive again. If he got close to him, he could have killed him given his size, mood and strength. He had a deadly weapon with him-- himself.
White or black, a police officer will react when you don't obey their orders.
What it sounds to me like is the Ferguson area needs an outside investigation of what's been going on. As someone who does not live there, who does not know those people, but who has had black friends (some I still consider friends whenever we meet), I feel this has been encouraged to blow up by black leaders who have instilled a sense of abuse in the community and a media, greedy for a story like this. It's why I kept my tv off last night. I didn't want to give them ratings for what they had worked to manipulate for even bigger stories-- and boy did they manipulate.
What gets me, as a law abiding citizen was the reaction of some in the black community. They were apparently just waiting for an excuse to loot, burn buildings and police cars. Those who did this look like the worst of Brown's behavior. They were waiting eagerly for a chance to do what they did. Who will it hurt? Them and the small businesses who used to serve them with jobs. Anyone who defends that response as being justified is part of the problem. I even saw headlines today saying that the system should be indicted where the Grand Jury didn't indict. So let's stoke these flames higher...
I would not want to be a police officer in today's mood as they are being randomly attacked and not just by blacks but by anyone with a grudge against the system. They are out there as the blue line who walk into danger when the rest of us run off. Yes, there are those who do abuse their power. Some of it happens when they are afraid, as humans they can be hurt and killed just like anybody. Some may be bullies. The media right now is full of stories where they seem to have been too quick to shoot-- okay, indict that system but not the Grand Jury in Ferguson.
With all the pressure they were under, I think they were couragous to come to the decision they did. If this had gone to trial, mob justice would have still demanded a guilty verdict or the looting and burning would be waiting. This is being fueled by those who don't know what it's like to face what officers do on a daily basis. The reaction now will be fueled by those who profit from violence even when they do not personally act violently.
So I hope there is a look at Ferguson from outside to see if the police have been abusing their power. But it should also look at the community to see if it is causing some of the reaction. Do they teach their kids to live by the laws, get an education, react politely, or do they make excuses for any misbehavior and blame it on the 'other'?
We can all look at ourselves to see what we are doing might be part of the problem of growing violence-- whatever the cause is race, religion, or ethnicity. When we excuse one kind of violence and make a big deal of another kind, we aren't helping. Peaceful demonstrations make a point. Burning buildings does also. They don't lead to the same conclusion.
We either are a nation of laws or we are not. When the laws are being abused, we need to request outside investigation but when we burn our buildings and destroy the very system that is serving us, where will that end? Anarchy doesn't serve anyone.