In the past nine days, a global awareness of the death of an unarmed teen in Ferguson, Missouri has sparked public outrage throughout the United States and many International cities.
Cultures and races of all kind have come together to protest this tragic death since the incident of August 9, 2014. Since that date, people in Ferguson, Missouri are still out in the streets from dusk to dawn in search of answers. Why? Well it’s simple, Ferguson, Missouri citizens seek to find the “answers” to Mike Brown’s tragic death. Moreover, a growing epidemic of black males being killed by local police have left bitter tastes in communities all throughout the U.S. Therefore, Ferguson, Missouri protesters have passively and angrily requested to seek “answers” per their request.
As of yesterday, the official autopsy has been released in which it shows Michael Brown was shot a total of six times, 2 in the head and 4 shots to his body!
The most current question Mike Brown protesters now seek is “Why Officer Darren Wilson (confirmed shooter) is still on unpaid leave and not indicted?”.
Darren Wilson is a public servant due to his employment with the St. Louis County Police Department, unpaid leave is up to the discretion of the District Attorney and/or the County’s policy on Administrative leave. In this particular situation, St. Louis County states that the current investigation isn’t enough to suspend Darren Wilson without pay. However, upon being indicted, pay will be suspended as needed.
One can get mad, protest, burn buildings, even notify the President, BUT if you don’t understand District/Local county law, you have missed, yet again the real problem many protesters are facing!
Not only does the County have the discretion to place an employee (Darren Wilson in this case) on paid leave, but the District Attorney (St. Louis County’s DA in this case) has the discretion to indict Darren Wilson!
How does a District Attorney make an indictment?
A District Attorney makes an indictment after presenting the evidence and details of a current investigation to the Grand Jury. The Grand Jury deliberates over the matter to decide whether to indict the accused person and for what specific charge.
How are Grand Juries Selected?
Grand Juries are selected by the District County Judge. Selection is not only imperative to deciding one’s potential fate, but the selection is secretive! In theory, a District Judge can potentially select members of the community the Judge knows will vote or rule a certain way.
Why is this important?
Well for starters, Ferguson, Missouri is made up of 67% Black People! MORE THAN TWO-THIRDS THE CITY’S POPULATION.
However, when it comes to population of St. Louis County, minorities roughly make up 25% of the population.
One’s race does not equally associate with one’s notions or ideals, however, these facts still need to be presented especially when discussing the current Prosecutor Robert McCulloch. According to Daily Mail, Robert McCulloch (Democrat) has family that worked for the St. Louis Police Department. His Mother, brother, and relatives all worked for the St. Louis Police Department. In fact, his dad was shot by a black kidnapper when Robert was 12 years of age. As a result, there can obviously a lot of biases presented in this current investigation.
What is the solution?
While there are many things one can learn from Mike Brown incident, we think the biggest lesson learned is to know who you vote into office (or don’t vote into office) plays the biggest role when it comes to local funding for schools, community development, and of course legal issues such as the current Mike Brown investigation. Though one could argue, “minorities are outnumbered in many districts”, that should never be an excuse for one to not vote especially if that community is underrepresented on judicial level. The severity of a community fully aware of the people they vote into office in a “biased County” inevitably educates the community of problems and consequences one may face.
Robert McCulloch has been in power of position for 23 years and is currently running UNOPPOSED in this year’s election. The current problems and biases protesters correlate with Robert McCulloch are nothing new, so why is the Ferguson community just now waiting to voice their opposition about him?! If this type of effort was used to get Robert McCulloch out of office, a newly appointed District Attorney might have already indicted Darren Wilson.
Another solution to this current investigation is to seek single membered District elections. A single membered District election for Ferguson would allow a judgeship position to open. By doing so, a District Judge would appoint his/her members of the Grand Jury. In theory, this would be a more suitable approach to counteract incidences such as the current Mike Brown investigation.
In conclusion, educating communities on the aforementioned information is important. Ferguson, Missouri isn’t the only community that faces problems of inadequate representation in the Judiciary system.
Communities must hold celebrities, actors, athletes, and “popular voices” more accountable to help provide this information. Unfortunately, Mike Brown may not be the last tragedy to happen…