Add the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. to the recent string of unnecessary deaths at the hands of the police.
The Missouri teen was gunned down by an officer early Saturday afternoon. His grandmother discovered his body sprawled along the pavement minutes before he was set to return home from the store. Reports vary about what exactly occurred for the police to open fire on the boy an unusual amount of times but its believed that police were called to the area looking for someone who had shoplifted from a store in the area.
Brown, whose body laid in the street for several minutes before his body was even covered by authorities was unarmed.
Louis Head, Brown’s stepfather, immediately wrote on a sign, “FERGUSON POLICE JUST EXECUTED MY UNARMED SON”. There were chants from a crowd of onlookers who protested the boys death and the actions of the police. The move, along with unconfirmed reports of shots in the crowd led to local authorities from surrounding areas to assist. By the time a crowd had gathered to march down to the police station in Ferguson, police had mobilized in tanks and held dogs to try and combat any potential unrest in the area.
Brown’s death follows the August 5th shooting of John Crawford, a 22-year old man in Beavercreek, Ohio. Crawford was shot and killed at a Wal-Mart after police believed the BB-gun he had was real. A couple had called the police when they saw Crawford walking with the BB-gun and clicking it. Crawford was on the phone with his girlfriend who says he told the officers the toy wasn’t real before the opened fire, shooting him and then handcuffing him afterwards.
The major discussions surrounding the shooting will eventually fall upon the rapid movement and increase of the crowd on the scene in Ferguson, as opposed to the brutality and cynical nature in which Brown’s body was displayed. The teenager, who had just graduated high school and was set to start college later this month is now spared this chance and the angry citizens of Ferguson and the apartment complex in which Brown was shot dead outside of, combatted with police. Brown’s shooting is another national black eye on law enforcement, whose usage of excessive force has mostly been taken upon African-American and Hispanic males in recent months and years.
Those people had a right to be angry, upset and frustrated with law enforcement. More than law enforcement had any right in opening fire and shooting a boy 10 times over an unfound belief.
Ferguson is a city of about 21,000 residents located a few miles north of downtown St. Louis.
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