If you watched the morning news after waking up today, you will have seen the images of devastation from Ferguson, in Missouri, after a jury decided not to bring charges against a white cop who killed Michael Brown, a black teenager. Many in the African-American community had called for murder charges to be brought against the police officer, but the charges were rejected by the jury. As a result, mass rioting ensued overnight in Ferguson, California, and other places with a large ethnic minority population. Protestors chanted “Justice for Michael Brown” and “Hands up, don’t shoot!”, as a reference to what Michael Brown is thought to have said the moment before he was shot by the cop, PC Darren Wilson. The jury voted 9/12 against bringing forward murder charges against Mr Wilson.
My view of the case is that the verdict is a gross miscarriage of justice. This is not the first time that a black person has become a victim of a white aggressor, and the white aggressor manages to escape any serious criminal charges. George Zimmerman, Stephen Lawrence, Travyon Martin, and now Michael Brown, are all cases where there has been a gross miscarriage of justice and where the narrative and the verdicts seem to be similar. The jury system itself is flawed when it comes to issues of race. 9/12 of the jurors were white….and all 9 voted against raising charges against Mr Wilson. Clearly, with modern American society being so polarised, and with a majority of white Americans holding racist views when it comes to attitudes toward African Americans, the jury system is clearly quite deeply flawed, and has to be changed to prevent such miscarriages of justice occurring in the future.
Clearly, the rioting and looting is unacceptable, and attempting to take the law into your own hands is wrong, full stop, but there are deep-seated reasons as to why African-Americans feel so deeply disillusioned with the justice system in America, and why they feel that nobody is listening. For the first time in its history, the United States has a black president, Barack Obama of the Democratic Party, and so such miscarriages must be addressed by him. It is time that it was addressed, and that every American, white, black, hispanic, jewish or asian, gets a fair deal.