FROM THE WASHINGTON POST:  “A grand jury has declined to indict Darren Wilson, the white Ferguson, Mo. police officer whose fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager sparked days of turbulent protests and a national conversation about race and police interactions with African Americans, prosecutors said Monday.  The decision means that Wilson, 28, will face no state charges in the August shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.”

The phrase “They still hate you,” so brilliantly and eloquently delivered by the dearly departed Adolph Caesar, from the film “A Soldier’s Story” comes to mind.  An actual video tape of Rodney King years ago, to eyewitness accounts of Brown’s execution earlier this year, and yet police officers are acquitted for what appears to thousands as a blatant crime.

A recent study by a coalition of gun-control groups, including Mayors Against Illegal Guns, found that in states that have implemented “stand your ground” laws, the number of justifiable homicides has skyrocketed.  The rate is up 53 percent in 22 states, according to the study.  In Florida, the average annual rate is up 200 percent, since the Zimmerman trial.  In states that do not have those laws, the rate has declined marginally.  The study, co-sponsored by the National Urban League and, also concludes that the number of deaths of black people deemed to be justifiable in states with those laws has doubled.

This photo below is a picture of a mural in a predominantly black and Latino neighborhood in Ridgewood, Queens.  An area where I resided for two years, it borders Bushwick, Brooklyn, which is what I referred to the community as.  The mural is depicting fellow neighbors of a person being unjustly arrested, taking photos and video taping the incident, in an effort to encourage as many as possible to document these offenses.  Unfortunately and apparently, documentation and eyewitness accounts have little to no value, when a black man is the victim.  This is what the acquittal of officers in the case of Rodney Glen King III — an American construction worker who became nationally known after being beaten by Los Angeles police officers following a high-speed car chase on March 3, 1991 — AND the results of the Grand Jury freeing officer Darren Wilson, tells the world.

Hood Wrap

Actual proof and obvious accounts of the truth just don’t seem to matter.  Protests persists in Ferguson in lieu of the verdict and crowds were subjected to tear gas, as police at one point appeared to vacate the streets, returning after gun shots were fired.  In New York City, a vocal crowd that had surged to more than 500 was marching toward Times Square on 7th Avenue against traffic, CNN’s Miguel Marquez reported.  Earlier in the evening, about 200 had gathered in Union Square brandishing signs that read, “Jail killer cops,” and a large display, in lights: “Black lives matter.”  Protesters knocked down barricades and headed toward the West Village before turning north, accompanied by police.  “Shouts of “f— the police” at word of no indictment,” a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter tweeted.  “A man with the mic: ‘we don’t need to get mad.’ Others: ‘yes we do!'”  In Oakland, California, shop owners posted signs in their windows, “We support Michael Brown,” as marchers took to the streets.  A crowd filled the intersection at 14th and Broadway, and some demonstrators laid their bodies down in chalk outlines, reports on social media showed.  Similar scenes of a “die-in” were staged in downtown Seattle.  “Same story every time, being black is not a crime,” protesters shouted, according to a report from CNN affiliate KIRO.protestunionsquare

In Los Angeles, a city still scarred by the riots of 1992, the police department was put on “tactical alert.”  A group also assembled in front of the Colorado Capitol in Denver calling for nonviolence, according to CNN affliate KMGH.  The Chicago Tribune reported that some 200 protesters gathered outside the city’s police headquarters, chanting “We are Mike Brown!” and “I am Mike Brown!”  They also carried signs, the paper reported, bearing phrases like “Won’t stop ’til we get justice,” “Killer pigs must pay,” and “Stop the racist killer cops.”

I had to document aspects of this moment in history, to reflect a period in time that is truly an American travesty.  I seem to be using that word pretty often as of late, but it unfortunately encompasses the circumstances of far too many situations that have been occurring across the country.

As the night raged on, fires were set in the community where Brown was killed.  Firemen showed up and proceeded to leave shortly after, claiming they feared for their lives, leaving several torched buildings to burn through the night.  Reporters scratch their heads as to why people burn their own neighborhoods.  To put it simply, when a lack of care is expressed about a community, those within the community care less about it.  There is speculation that the parents of Brown will pursue a civil suit, however that actuality, is to be determined.  In the early words of Al Sharpton, “No Justice, No Peace,” as I anticipate minimal peace in random areas throughout the country in the coming days.

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