Free Speech in the Media
Michael Brown’s lifeless body laid uncovered on a gravel and tar road for more than four hours in Ferguson, MI on Saturday, August 9, 2014. The details surrounding the college-bound 18 year olds death are astonishing as the public eventually learns that the teen was unarmed and shot six times, not to mention the shooter was none other than Officer Darren Wilson. This issue stirred up intense controversy and emotion immediately when it was determined that Michael Brown was unarmed, as well as African American, while Officer Wilson is a Caucasian man. The event not only caused debate surrounding the details of a young man’s death, but it caused people in general to question the relationship between police officers and black men. An abundance of people (Of multiple races and ethnicities all over the country) feel that Officer Wilson should be held accountable for his actions and charged for the shooting of Michael Brown. Is there an unjust and unspoken line of hostility lying between law enforcement and African American citizens? Was Officer Wilson’s use of force justifiable? With so many questions and information ascending through each source of media, it is hard to determine what the true outcome of this issue should be.
After relentless efforts on behalf of the Ferguson Police Department to protect the identity of the officer who shot Michael Brown, it was learned six days after the event that the Officer was in deed, Darren Wilson. Non-stop protesting around the clock captivated the media, as the citizens of Ferguson demanded attention and action of some kind. In order to resolve the controversy, prosecuting attorney Robert P. McCulloch was under severe pressure to determine if state charges would be filed against Officer Wilson, contrary to allegations that McCulloch’s family history classifies him as bias, in favor of the officer. On August 11th Attorney general Eric Holder instructed the Justice Department to monitor the developments of the case, as the FBI had officially opened a civil rights investigation into the incident.
Furthermore, a grand jury consisting of three blacks and nine whites were eventually allowed to listen to selective testimonies including that of Officer Darren Wilson’s (Four hours long). Also, certain articles of evidence were permitted for review. After hearing testimonies from 60 witnesses over a three month time period, the verdict was announced on November 24th. A press conference was held in order to report that Officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted by the grand jury. It was previously suspected throughout the community that an unfavorable decision had been made on behalf of justice for Mike Brown because Governor Nixon had declared a state of emergency just three days prior; in fear that there would be increased hostility and regret from Michael Brown supporters.
I don’t agree with the outcome of the verdict and I feel it is evident that Officer Darren Wilson utilized unlawful force in the killing of Michael Brown. Michael Brown was unarmed, shot six times, had his hands in the air and in plain sight (According to witnesses on video) and was at least 60 feet from officer Wilson (On account of his own testimony) before Officer Wilson supposedly acted in self-defense. Aside