Monday, August 18, 2014

Can Somebody PLEASE Define "JUSTICE" For Me? (Re: Mike Brown, Ferguson, MO)

Ferguson, MO - People marching in the streets chanting "No justice! No peace!" . What exactly does that mean? Yeah, yeah, I know it's from the "Civil Rights era" (prior to my birth). But, what the hell does it mean today?

I'll tell you what I think it means to the people who chant it today in Ferguson, Missouri:
If officer Darren Wilson isn't convicted of murdering Mike Brown there will be no "justice".

But, what if Officer Wilson isn't charged with any crime?

Here's the Merriam-Webster definition of justice:
jus·tice noun \ˈjəs-təs\
the process or result of using laws to fairly judge and punish crimes and criminals

While this case is being adjudicated via the internet (mostly via YouTube videos), I'm believing that, not only will there be no conviction of Officer Darren Wilson, he won't even be indicted (by anyone who possesses the ability to look at this case rationally, that is). It may turn out, as in the George Zimmerman case, that the public pressure becomes too great for some weak-kneed public servant that criminal charges are eventually filed, but, we've all seen before, via the Zimmerman prosecution, how that turns out.

Charges should have never been filed against George Zimmerman because, as the prosecutors knew (prior to succumbing to public pressure), they didn't have enough evidence for a conviction. Yet, they put the nation (and the local taxpayers) through a public dog-and-pony show so some people could feel better about their lives. I suppose that is exactly where this case is heading. If "the locals" don't file some kind of charges, Obama's Department of "Justice" may, now that they're involved in the case. And, that doesn't equal "justice" in any sense of the word. So, what do the people who are seeking "justice" really want?

I'm always seeking justice for every wrong...but, in this case that means that if the officer is guilty and this was a "bad shoot", then he should be convicted of "murder" (or some lesser charge like "manslaugter" - I don't know how either are defined in the state of Missouri). However, that also means that if there isn't enough evidence to indict him, he shouldn't be charged. End of story. I'm not going to go out into the street screaming about how there is "no justice" and feel like my life is over and the possibility of me ever being treated fairly has disappeared. I'll simply be done with the case and move on with my life as if everyone on the planet is NOT seeking to screw with my life...which, they're not.

Somehow, I don't think some people will. Some people seemingly exist as if they're always the victim of something or someone. Some people think that there has always been someone else or some set of circumstances that have held them back. I personally know a few people who are like this. I'm also getting the message that there are a few people in Ferguson, MO who have these same feelings. But, you know what? No one in this country has ever been guaranteed the right to not be offended. Sometimes you will be offended. Sometimes I will be offended. Sometimes life just sucks. We all have sh_tty days. Including Mike Brown and including Officer Darren Wilson. Sometimes that means you cease to exist. Sometimes that means your life changes forever. Sometimes...just sometimes, it also means that there may be no "justice", as you choose to define it.

Other times, it may mean that when you break the law by walking down the middle of a street, you seal your own fate when you run back toward the cop that stops you for walking down the middle of the street. Don't blame him (or her). Blame yourself.

And, parents, please stop blaming others for the situations in which your children place themselves. This country has had enough of that.

EVERYONE: Teach your children to NOT break the law in the first place and THEY will NEVER find themselves in one of these situations. It really is that simple. And, yes, kids will do what they want...they're like people that way. Sometimes you have to deal with their choices on your own. The entire nation shouldn't have deal with them.

Food for thought:

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Ferguson, MO - Police Kick News Media Off Streets (VIDEO) "You're Putting My Officer's Lives In Jeopardy!"

Screen grab from live video feed
Earlier tonight, while watching a raw live video feed from I happened to record a couple minutes of video that surprised me. St. Louis TV station KSDK's live video feed was providing coverage of the streets of Ferguson, MO during what is turning out to be a second night of rioting. In the video you can clearly hear the police order the news media off of the streets.

Police are out in riot gear tonight attempting to put a stop to the rioting that took place last night after the officer-involved shooting death of an 18-year-old black male in Ferguson, MO (which is apparently a suburb of St. Louis) that took place this past Saturday.

In the video below, the following is depicted:

Police over loud speaker (41 seconds into video): "Please clear the streets. Return to your home and get out of the street."

Officer yelling (57 seconds into video): "News media you need to clear out! This is your last warning! I'm telling you, get out of here! This is your last warning! Understand? You're putting my officer's lives in jeopardy!"

One of the members of the media says, "Let's back up. Let's back up" and the officer again yells something that is inaudible and again repeats: "You're putting my officers lives in jeopardy! You're putting my officer's lives in jeopardy! Get out of here!" At this point the media appears to be preparing to leave and the live video feed goes dead.

I'm not one to bash the police and, frankly, I don't appreciate those that do. In fact, I generally support nearly everything they do because I've never done their job and am pretty certain that I'd be a miserable failure at it. I appreciate the work of most law enforcement officers. What I don't understand in this video is how the presence of the media could possibly be putting the officer's lives in jeopardy. At a time like this I would think that having the media around would provide cover for the police because who would be stupid enough to engage with the police while the media is there with video cameras rolling? It seems to me that, especially right now, more transparency would benefit the police department, not less. It makes no sense to kick the media out. No sense to me, that is.

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