Death On Display
On August 9, 2014, Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer in St. Louis, MO. Witnesses state that Michael Brown, 18 years of age, was unarmed (he did beat Officer Wilson close to unconsciousness, however). Neighbors were disturbed that the body was left at the crime scene uncovered for four hours. However, crime scenes must be maintained undisturbed for forensic investigators and the medical examiner. There are numerous variables that need to be recorded in order to determine exactly what occurred at the time of the shooting. If citizens really do want justice to be done then this is a necessity; the crime scene cannot be tampered with, period.
Covering the body could inadvertently transfer particle evidence from the body to the sheet and when the sheet is lifted it could be lost. If the body had been covered, and some type of evidence had been lost, everyone would then claim that the police had tampered with the scene in order to cover up an unnecessary shooting or some such nonsense. There is never a win-win situation for police officers, or the family of the deceased, when a shooting occurs; it is unfortunate for everyone involved and this one death has produced many victims. As one of the officers stated, “You only get one shot at a crime scene.” Moving the body would be tampering with evidence.
When your life is in danger, do you want an emotional cop or a tough cop?
A neighbor who says she heard the shooting from her apartment, witnessed the final crime scene. She says of the officers at the scene, “They had no sympathy. It just seemed like they had no sympathy. They had these blank expressions on their face.” The average citizen can never understand how emotionally difficult it is to handle a crime scene or to deal with taking someone’s life. Police officers have to remain unemotional at the scene in order to carry out their duties properly and not be overcome by the gore they are having to witness. Police officers are here to “Protect and Serve”, not to provide sympathy or show emotion at a scene. In fact, an officer who did break down emotionally at a scene would probably be placed on leave pending psychological evaluation. They have a job to do, a very hard one, and God bless them for being willing to do it even with all the negativity they receive from the public when they should be shown appreciation instead.
Instigating Racial Tensions
News reporters, bloggers, and others continue to include narrative such as “a black teenager, Michael Brown, was shot and killed by white police officer, Darren Wilson.” Is it really necessary to say the officer was white and the teenager was black? Does this not just instigate an uproar from the black community that injustice occurred because the teenager was black? What does race have to do with it? If Darren Wilson used his gun without the appropriate need for deadly use of force, then Officer Wilson is in the wrong and will be brought to justice, regardless of whether the teenager was white or black.
In addition, why do they keep saying “teenager” when Michael Brown was 18 years of age which means he is legally an adult. Saying he is a teenager elicits thoughts of a “child” who perhaps is not responsible for their actions. More propaganda to make us feel sorry for the criminal and victimize the police officer instead who was just trying to do his job?
Police Officers are Human Beings, Not Robots
We have to remember that police officers are human beings with the same feelings and emotions that we have. They have families they care about, and those same families worry and pray every night that their loved one will come home safe from their shift. When did the life of unruly teenagers daring enough to threaten a police officer in his own vehicle, become more important than the life of the police officer who works hard every day to protect us from that exact type of violence happening to us? A police officer often only has seconds, or milliseconds, to make a decision that will save his or her own life or that of someone else. Life and death decisions are difficult to make even when we have time to think about them after the fact; can you imagine having to make this decision in a split second filled with fear for your life or someone else’s?
Only time will tell whether Officer Wilson was justified in the shooting of Michael Brown or if it was, indeed, an inappropriate use of deadly force. But it seems as if this little St. Louis town has already decided for themselves that Officer Wilson is guilty, without any concrete evidence, simply because Michael Brown was black and two-thirds of this small town is black while all elected officials and police officers are predominantly white. I don’t know about you but I am sick of hearing the race card being played.
It’s Not About Race
It’s real simple, people. Regardless of Michael Brown’s race, he obviously acted out on August 9, 2014 against Officer Wilson, actually even putting half his body into the Officer’s car while leaning in his window (Michael Brown hit Officer Wilson so hard that Wilson suffered a fracture to his eye socket). Michael Brown, teenager or not, black or not, made a grave mistake by attacking a police officer. The first shots went off inside the police car and it is evident from witness accounts that Officer Wilson was defending himself against an assault by Michael Brown.
The only thing really in question is if Officer Wilson continued to fire his handgun after the threat to his safety was no longer present. This will be determined by an external review board and Officer Wilson’s career depends on the outcome. While I do not condone use of deadly force, bad things can happen when you behave inappropriately, illegally, and have the debauched judgment to assault a police officer in his own vehicle. Do I feel sorrow for Michael Brown? While I’m sure this will create some controversy: No, I don’t. I feel sorry for his family that is grieving, but Michael Brown made a choice on August 9, 2014 and it was a bad choice; one that had deadly consequences.
If Officer Wilson is guilty of firing his handgun and killing Michael Brown when his safety was no longer in question, then Officer Wilson also made a bad choice. However, his job puts him in extraordinary circumstances that need to be taken into consideration. His previous record and history as an officer will be evaluated and a fair decision will be made as to whether Officer Wilson acted inappropriately. But you know what? Even if Officer Wilson is shown to be in the wrong that does not give the people of St. Louis the right to cause damage and behave violently as they have in the past several weeks.
If you want to protest for justice, then act just. Pick up a sign and protest publicly with picketing and non-violence. Otherwise, you are making a bad choice, and we all know now what happens then. What gives anyone the right to commit illegal acts, like looting from innocent shop owners, even if Officer Wilson is guilty? Its time America stops trying so hard not to offend and stands up for the truth. As this protestor wisely states, “I don’t support a race. I support the truth.” Apparently, we are not the only ones who feel this way, as over $200,000 was raised in just 3 days by supporters of Officer Wilson in order to help him and his family with legal expenses. There’s hope for America yet.
Darlene M. Brown
August 27, 2014