Mike Brown is just one of four unarmed black men that has been killed by policemen in the last four weeks. Eric Garner in New York, John Crawford in Dayton, OH, Ezell Ford in L.A. and Mike Brown in St. Louis. Yes, this will probably be a long post because I am furious and disgusted with what's happening around the world right now and so should you be.
Mike Brown was heading to his grandmother's house when he was shot and killed by police. Police said he was shot after a struggle over a firearm in a police car but it wasn't really clear why he was in the car in the first place. One shot was fired in the struggle then more were fired before the officer left the car. They claimed that Mike struck the officer and tried to steal his gun but his friend claimed to reporters that the officer told them to move onto the footpath before then threatening the teenager with a gun.
Mike Brown's mother, Leslie McSpadden, only found out about her son's demise from identifying him on a photo taken on a mobile phone. He was only 18 years old. Devastated, she described him as a "good child getting ready to go to college". A video has been uploaded to YouTube where she is being interviewed by a local news reporter after the tragic shooting and when asked about what the police are telling her about the shooting, all she could say was: "They aren't telling me anything ... they wouldn't even let me identify my son. The only way I knew it was my son was from people out here showing me his picture on their phones and their tablets. I learned about it from a guy calling me on the phone. I was able to look at that picture and say yes that's my son. Laying in the street for hours. Hours."
His death on Saturday was the catalyst that sparked off the demonstrations which were followed by riots and looting in Ferguson, Missouri, USA which is a largely black St. Louis suburb. About 150 officers in riot gear were spread out through St. Louis County. Stores were set on fire, robbed and smashed up completely. There have been a number of videos and pictures posted all over the internet of men and women, some masked, breaking into shops and taking what they can.
Four days and nights of protesting on the streets of Ferguson has left the police resorting to using tear gas and rubber bullets many of which have struck innocent protesters.
I am sorry for the graphic nature of this photo but this lady was helping calm the crowd down before being struck with a rubber bullet herself. Absolutely disgusting.
How is this injustice any different to 50 years ago? Did the Civil Rights Movement mean absolutely nothing then?
Police brutality against people of colour is not a new problem obviously, it's decades old. But thankfully with technology becoming more advanced and social media being pretty much used by everyone right now, everyone is able to gather more information and cases like these are no longer going unnoticed. A page called Justice for Mike Brown has been set up on Facebook to protest the shooting and supporters have also taken to Twitter using the hashtag #justicefor mike to share their views. This protest movement is certainly taking shape but there needs to be more media outcry, not just in the USA but everywhere else too because I haven't heard much about it over here in the UK.
Mike's mother and father can't even mourn him in peace right now, they're having to defend their son against the media and police. This is sickening. Instead of allowing a family to grieve, they're having to listen to these repulsive remarks of how their much-loved son is being turned into the enemy and not the police. The boy can't even defend himself because he's dead. And his killer will remain presumably innocent.
This teenager is just the latest in a long list of black American youths to be shot and killed. How many more people do we need to lose before something is done? There has been too much blood shed and there has been a long history of violence by police that could have been avoided. Too many innocent people have been killed by the misconduct of police causing mistrust, anger to communities and grief to so many families.
So please sign this petition so President Obama can bring in new Federal Laws that protects citizens from Police violence and misconduct.
"The Civil Rights Act is 50 years old. These two pictures were taken 50 years apart. Behold our progress. #Ferguson." - @jackfrombkln
How many more people have to die before something changes? It needs to stop and stop now. The work for the Civil Rights Act is going to waste. Maybe people need reminding of that at times like this.
Also if any of my fellow bloggers from the USA are reading this and planning to protest, please keep yourselves safe and don't give up.