The Trouble in Ferguson

The recent events in Ferguson, Missouri have been troubling. The sad death of Michael Brown and subsequent clearing of criminal charges of Darren Wilson, the police officer who killed Brown, is troubling enough. But the aftermath of the grand jury decision to clear Wilson has proven to be troubling as well.

After the grand jury’s findings were released a night of violence broke out in Ferguson. Businesses were looted and set aflame. Shots were fired in the streets. I understand why people are upset and I don’t blame them. What I don’t understand is the violent reaction.

The grand jury in this case heard many hours of testimony and reviewed the available evidence then made a decision. The public, including the protesters, did not hear all the testimony or review all of the evidence the grand jury did. For better or worse this is the legal process for such cases. We don’t have to agree with the grand jury’s opinion. We don’t even need to accept it. But we do need to abide by it.

The violence that broke out last night is nothing more than crime using a particular event as an excuse. It serves no purpose in finding justice for Brown and does not further the discussion of how to better handle such cases in the future.

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