So what’s trending online right now? Right now, the internet is in an uproar over the Ferguson grand jury decision. Supporters of Mike Brown, who was shot to death by police officer Darren Wilson during a scuffle, were hoping for an indictment.
According to a grand jury of twelve (made up of 7 men and 5 women, 9 white and 3 black) came to the conclusion that Officer Darren Wilson operated within the law and the shooting was justified.
>>> Click here to read more from the Washington Post
Here is my personal take on the matter. As a young black man in America, I have experienced being singled out or told I was ‘threatening’ because of my size and appearance. I’ve been told that I have a strong presence based on how I carry myself. Whether we want to admit it or not, there are certain mannerisms that someone like me cannot do without first being perceived as threatening at first glance…but the same mannerisms, if done by for example, a short old white lady, would not be as threatening.
I used a short old white lady as an example to show an extreme contrast just so that you can get the point. Now in the Mike Brown case, we’re not talking simply mannerisms…we are talking an actual altercation, which now increases the threat assessment. Though I’m only speculating, I would bet that if you switched out Mike Brown with a little old white lady who was half the size of Officer Darren Wilson, deadly force would not have come to mind because the lady would not have been perceived as a threat to the point in which his life was in danger.
A perceived threat is different than an actual threat. Whether justified or not, the law in that city protects the officer because his actions were based on a perceived threat to his life. Cops must make split-second decisions in the line of duty. Is it possible that if Officer Darren Wilson waited a couple of seconds longer to assess the situation that he would have made a different decision? Yes, it is possible. Is it also possible that he would have still made the same decision even if he waited a little longer? This is a possibility as well. Unfortunately, we’ll never know.
Folks in social media are arguing whether this was a race issue or not…I don’t know. But if we want to go by perception based on my personal experiences, I could pull the race card on this one. But remember…what is perceived can be different from what actually is going on. And this is where it becomes a deadly game…because of the laws in place, if an officer wants to abuse his power he could hide behind it and LEGALLY exercise his right to use deadly force…but just because it’s legal doesn’t necessarily mean that it is right. But when it comes to the grand jury, the question was not about what was “morally” right/wrong, but what was “legally” right/wrong.
I’ll end it on this note…a pedestrian may have the right of way when crossing the street, but that doesn’t excuse him from not looking both ways before crossing and unnecessarily put himself in harm’s way. Mike Brown unnecessarily put himself into harm’s way by physically confronting the officer. Whether or not the shooting was justified, this whole incident could have been avoided…period. I’m not ignoring the fact that there is a problem with police brutality and abuse of power in this country, but let’s not add fuel to the fire by unnecessarily putting ourselves into harms way.
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Yours in Mastery,
The EnvironMENTAL Architect
“I am here to inspire you to live life by design. I see people worldwide in a non-judgmental society living life on purpose, honoring each other's dreams as they live their own. I can help you gain the clarity to awaken your hidden potential."
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