Racism Reports Won't Change Ferguson Self Defense Charges

Last November, a St. Louis County grand jury decided not to charge police officer Darren Wilson for the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. On Wednesday, March 4, the Department of Justice agreed that the Ferguson cop should not be prosecuted for the shooting.

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The decision came after federal officials said that Wilson's actions "do not constitute prosecutable violations under the applicable federal criminal rights statute."

Despite reports that racial bias is an issue in Ferguson County, the DOJ has decided not to go after Wilson in Michael Brown's death. Last August, the black teenager incited national riots after his shooting inflamed tensions in a largely minority community that is patrolled by an overwhelmingly white police force.

Yes, it does appear that there may be a racism issue in Ferguson County. That does not mean that Wilson was wrong in shooting Michael Brown. What the heck are you supposed to do when your safety and/or life is being threatened? You do what you have to do, that's what.

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Several witnesses stated, "Brown appeared to pose a physical threat to Wilson as he moved toward Wilson." The report continued, "According to these witnesses, who are corroborated by blood evidence in the roadway ... as Brown continued to move toward Wilson, Wilson fired at Brown in what appeared to be self defense and stopped firing once Brown fell to the ground."

There is no evidence that Brown had his hands up before Wilson shot.

This decision by the DOJ comes at the same time as reports have emerged that racial profiling is rampant in Ferguson, and the black community has lost its trust of the predominantly white police force.

Nathan Burns, 25, lives in the area, and says that "racism impacts the lives of blacks in schools, at jobs, and in everyday interactions." A high school algebra teacher, Burns confessed that "he has been pulled more than 20 times by officers working for various St. Louis area departments in the last eight years."

He also believes that he's been targeted because of his race, and that many of his African-American friends have had their cars and home searched for no reason other than that they were black.

"There's a culture that has been created," Burns said. "A lot of people want to say racism is over with and that we are past that. But, time doesn't make everything disappear. Ignoring the fact that you have cancer is not going to stop you from having cancer. And, racism is like a cancer that people have been ignoring."

It looks like racism is an issue in Ferguson, and it must be addressed. But it won't change the evidence that shows that Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown in order to defend his own life.

Do you agree with the Department of Justice on this call? 

 

Image via Handout/Getty Images

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