It’s been almost two weeks since Michael Brown, a black male teenager, was gunned down by police officer Darren Wilson, a white male. The shooting took place in Ferguson, Missouri. Officer Wilson has still not been arrested for the shooting.
While I won’t go into the details of the multiple things that are wrong or are being done to citizens with a right to protest, I want to cover briefly, from my account and insight knowledge, about how multiple stories are arising. A heads up… I’m not linking any news stories related to the shooting and/or protesting, you’ll see why.
Unfortunately, there has been unexpected looting with nightly protest and property damage since the protests began. This, as well as the nightly protests delaying the start of school, has most likely recently prompted the curfew by the police/city.
Personally, I’ve been following the daily tweets/updates from a community organizer by the name of Cherrell Brown. She’s probably more famously know by her twitter name: @Awkward_Duck. She probably doesn’t remember when we first met but I participated in a community on-campus flash mob at UNCG in Greensboro, NC to raise awareness about the new International Civil Rights Museum in Greensboro, NC. At the time Cherrell was a student at NC A&T State University and I, a student at UNCG. It was then I first witnessed her bravery and inspiring tactics of execution. When she tweeted that she raised enough funds to go to Ferguson, I was determined to follow her actions and share her updates of her accounts in hopes to help others and make more people aware. That’s what I’ve been doing.
Based on her tweets and updates, she updates/live tweets, as well as others, have debunked media reports from information the police provided to the media/public. Her updates are of accurate accounts on the ground as they happen. While her and her colleagues are trying to gather supplies and make sure others are safe, the police are most likely following their social media accounts in order to “track” their whereabouts. With local churches and venus being offered as safe-spots for protesters, in one way to get treated from tear gas, it was a shock that some organizers reported that the police would show up to confiscate supplies to mitigate tear gas effects. Cherrell informed her followers via her twitter updates that tear gas in banned in international warfare. Domestic use in the United States, not a big deal apparently.
While I do work in public relations, an industry in where you build relationships and trust journalists’ reports, from what the people on the ground have reported nightly this past week, at this time I don’t trust the sources (police department of Ferguson) in which the media are getting their information. This is 2014, not 1964! We are to be living in post-Jim Crow era but I understand not all people are open to equality of all citizens. Believe it or not racism is still a huge societal issue whether you like to admit it or not, whether you witness it or now and I’m not just saying this because I’m classified as a minority. An injustice to one is an injustice to all. I’m concerned because that’s what we, the people of the United States as a whole, either fail or don’t care to realize.
As for the community organizers and activists in Ferguson, MO my prayers go out to you daily. I hope the police will stop their use of tear gas, especially in neighborhoods without protesters or large crowds. We also need to demand that the police begin to wear their badges again so protesters can identify badge numbers for possible police mistreatment. I will be keeping an eye out on updates from the communication firms that are going to handle both short-term and long-term assistance to the city of Ferguson. We really need the police to be more accountable in reporting the TRUTH.
My thoughts and prayers go out to Michael Brown’s family as well as the family of Trayvon Martin, Sean Bell, and many others whose family has suffered a devastating tragedy brought on by law enforcement.