Monday, August 18, 2014

Michael Brown and Ferguson....

I don't like to get too heavy on the blog but with the continuing unrest in Ferguson, I wanted to share some thoughts.

First, it's a shame this young man is dead, it's a shame for his parents and friends and other loved ones, many of whom probably knew this young man from birth.

It saddens me that a young man is dead because he was walking in the middle of street and somehow that simple action began a process that in broad daylight ended with this young man dead in the middle of the street.

Is walking in the street something that really needs any officer action?  In fairness, maybe there had been complaints about young people loitering in the streets.  But the officer does lose me with even pursuing such a silly infraction, chirp the lights, and move on.

That didn't happen.

And at this point, Michael Brown loses me.

No matter how stupid, when the officer chirps the lights and tells you to walk on the sidewalk - JUST DO IT.  Is it worth your life to be a smartass/hardass over something so dumb?  No its not. Sometimes, you go along to get along to just get home.  And there is a breakdown somewhere from the parents, teachers, community and his "friend" that was with him to not have a basic respect for authority and just to wave at the officer and move out of the street.

The robbery has nothing to do with the events of the day as the officer did not know this young man had committed a robbery according to the chief.  What the robbery does show is an angry young man with no respect for laws or businesses or people.  YOU DO NOT WALK IN A STORE AND PUSH SHOP OWNERS AROUND AND TAKE WHAT YOU WANT. That is unacceptable and no matter how you feel about this situation, that should be unacceptable to everyone.

By almost all accounts there was a struggle at the officer vehicle, NEVER LAY YOUR HANDS ON AN OFFICER, IT WILL NEVER END WELL FOR YOU.  Again, no matter how you feel, we should all agree that you do not lay hands on an officer.  I've said, engaging these young men for walking in the street is silly and dumb.  Do not escalate situations, better to even go to jail than end up dead.

No matter what the outcome moving forward, Michael Brown is DEAD, much like Trayvon, this seems to me a situation that could easily have been avoided.

So there will be people that will say this young man never should have been bothered and I don't totally disagree but when he was, he should have had the home training and community training to just get out of the road and go home.  It's not worth it, its not worth dying with 2 shots to the head to be a hardass or to think you are standing on a principle.

It's also a shame to me that so many have made up their minds, lets get the toxicology on both the officer and Brown, lets get the witness accounts actually given to police, lets get all the autopsies in, and then lets have an informed opinion.  To be extreme for Brown or the Officer is inappropriate without all the facts.

Being a police officer is a thankless job but they do need better training, they do need alternative weapons like tasers, they do need to be out in the community and getting to know the community.  If the officer and Brown had any type of relationship this likely would have been a very short exchange. 

We have work to do as a society but yelling and screaming and not listening will not push the ball forward.

Comments that cross any line of good taste will be deleted.

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