Two years ago today (August 9th 2014) Mike Brown an unarmed teenager on his way back home from a local store was shot and killed by Fergurson police officer Darren Wilson…
The residents of the Canfield Gardens complex where he lived were subjected to the spectacle of his dead body being left in the middle of the courtyard which is not all that big for all to see in the hot blistering sun for 4 1/2 hours..
It was like the police wanted to send a message of fear and terror to a community that had found itself constantly under siege, not just by Ferguson Police, but by the 50 or so police municipalities that resided nearby that routinely preyed upon residents with impunity.
Black people in Ferguson and North County were used as ATM machines by cash strapped cities and police departments who would issues tickets for anything and everything under the sun and then issue bench warrants when folks weren’t able to pay. At one point over 500 people in the St Louis area had bench warrants stemming from these tickets..
The ticketing of folks was the least of people’s problems. Folks in the Ferguson are were routinely subjected to all sorts of police terror ranging from humiliating remarks to beatings to false arrests. More than a few had met their fate at the hands of police. The killing of Mike Brown was the final straw. Police provoked stunned, grieving residents during a candle-light vigil and all hell broke loose.
The world bore witness to heavily militarized police rolling army tanks through neighborhoods, shooting tear gas, arresting journalist and shredding the constitution, Bill of Rights and any other human rights law. The people of Ferguson rebelled for more than 100 days and forced the world to stand still for a moment in time..
Since Ferguson, we seen scathing reports issued by the Department of Justice. We’ve seen President Obama lay out Blue Ribbon Commissions We’ve seen scores of proposed laws both locally and on the federal level. We’ve seen police accountability activist visit the United Nations on 4 different occasions. We’ve seen scores of gatherings, conventions and panel discussions..
We’ve seen TV specials on the topic. We’ve sen hunger strikes…We seen the removal of several district attorneys and police chiefs and the election of others to office by those determined to win. We seen the development of a robust platform of demand from the Movement 4 Black Lives. The push back and organizing around ending police terror has been tremendous
We’ve seen hundreds of protests from coast to coast. Bridges have been shut down, freeways shut down and Presidential candidates interrupted and political rallies disrupted by those demanding an end to police terror.
We also seen since the death of Mike Brown an estimated 3k people shot and killed by police around the United States. We’ve seen no cops go to jail and very few indicted.
There’s a long list of names that have been killed in the most egregious manner, some even caught on film, by police who been set free. From Freddy Gray to Andy Lopez. From Sandra Bland to Rekia Boyd to Tamir Rice. From Mario Woods to Mariam Carey to Alex Nieto. There has been no conviction of the cops who killed them. In fact some have even gotten promoted.
What we have seen since the death of Mike Brown is a number of activists, freedom fighters and organizers demanding police accountability get sent to jail. We should not forget the name of someone like Ferguson’s Joshua Williams who is serving 8 years. That’s longer then the sentence handed down to any cop who have killed any of our folks. Reflect on that for a moment.
Hardly any of the proposed laws to reign in police terror outside of body cameras have gotten passed. Since the killing of Mike Brown we’ve seen President Obama reverse his position on militarizing police.
Two months prior to Brown getting killed all but 7 members of the Congressional Black Caucus rejected an amendment put forth by Florida Congressman Alan Grayson that would’ve stripped the police of its military hardware. After Ferguson erupted many of those same lawmakers including some who had the nerve to speak at Brown’s funeral rushed to pass laws to stop police militarization even though they rejected the Grayson amendment.
Last month President Obama announced that he would reverse himself on banning military hardware to police. Police can now gear up again. We are back at square one. Its as if we have buffer class of people who are supposed to be on ourside who carry water for police departments and police unions and at every chance seem to hold up progress.
Over the past few months we’ve seen a flurry of laws Blue Lives Matter laws be proposed and in some places pass from coast to coast would give the police more power, make their actions less transparent and in some cases make it a hate crime to not only attack them, but speak ill of them.
On the 2cd anniversary of Mike Brown’s death, we should all be asking what’s really changed since 2014? How did and why did the US become more of a police state under a Black president and Black Attorney General? Where do we go from here?
Lastly as we reflect on today , lets not lose sight of the family of those who have been gunned down by police. far too often in these aftermath of their loved ones being killed, the family members become political commodities.
For some, the constant attention and movement around them as folks fight for justice may help keep their minds off what is unbearably painful. But its on days like this and in those quiet moments that the loss of a son, daughter, husband, wife, mother & dad all comes rushing back.
How they get through it one can only guess. So lets’ be sure to show them love and not treat the death of Mike Brown or any other person as just another casualty that can easily be brushed aside.
#staywoke #turnUp #shutemdown