From Denzel Dowell to Rodney King and now to Mike Brown, US police departments, especially Southern ones, are no stranger to the merciless killings of innocent African Americans. However, the perpetrators of these killings are not who you might expect; they are not down to white supremacists like the KKK, but the intolerant viewpoint of the officers themselves.
The killing of Mike Brown was unacceptable, and a prime example of police brutality. Brown was unarmed, and however much FOX or CNN attempt to convict his image, Darren Wilson did not shoot Brown because of his alleged crime committed earlier - it was simply an abuse of police privilege. How one can act in self defence by shooting at an unarmed teenager 30 feet away makes little sense.
Now, the protestors aren't using Mike Brown's death as the one reason for their activism, but it was the trigger of the protests. The long term factors point to the racial profiling that has been prominent ever since the time of MLK.
Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics
70% of Ferguson's population is African American.
Only 3 out of the 53 Ferguson police officers are African American.
However.... African Americans are the victims of 92% of all searches, 94% of all arrests, and 86% of all 'stops' by police. In Missouri as a whole, with an 80% Caucasian population, African Americans are targeted 3x more.
These stats reflect the disproportionate amount of African Americans, perhaps an ill effect of the Reasonable Suspicion Law.
The Protests themselves
These marches should not be compared to the destructive nature of the London riots, which, although sparked by a similar murder, were infiltrated by looters and anarchists. The 'looters' that have turned up in Ferguson are described simply as 'drunk kids', taking advantage of the situation. In no way do they represent a significant proportion of the protestors; in fact, protestors have been lining up to protect stores.
The activists are united under two common goals:
1) Justice for Mike Brown through the criticism and removal of Darren Wilson.
2) An end to police racism and brutality.
Another issue that has arisen is the increased militarisation of US police. This has not only been forseen by those crazy 'conspiracy theorists', but by respected journalists such as Abby Martin too:
The pictures in the slideshow (see top of page) show the military-grade equipment the US police not only possess, but use on regular civillians too.
Yes, the same weapons are being used on unarmed Missouri taxpayers and terrorists in the Middle East. The only difference being, al-Qaeda and the Taliban were given more support by the US government.
There are a few things that must be done to bring some form of stability to the region:
1) President Obama, whom many African Maericans thought would bring equality to all states, needs to speak out and condemn the actions of the police.
2) Journalists need to be allowed into the area. The police have threatened anyone documenting events with arrest.
3) St Louis P.D needs to announce a change in their policy, which they seem fixed on continuing (another African American was shot about a week ago).
4) The National Guard need to withdraw. They have no place opposing peaceful protestors.
5) The MSM US media, especially FOX and CNN, need to be unbiased and rational in their repo- HAHA, I know.
Till then, good luck to the protestors. Stay safe, and persevere.