The shooting of Michael Brown that took place on August 9th, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri drew forth a series of protests and general civil unrest in the area, triggering racial tensions, discussions and debates about law enforcement and its use of force doctrine.
The protests that following brought along vandalism and looting, and more issues arose when the necessary militarized response was deemed insensitive and sprouted further irritation from the masses.
Today, the police officer who was involved in the fatal shooting of black 18-year old has sent in his resignation, claiming it was the hardest thing that he ever had to do. The recent decision of the jury to not charge 28-year old Darren Wilson for the killing triggered an uproar of riots and protests in Ferguson. Wilson, who has been on administrative leave since the event in August, stated that in such critical conditions he cannot remain on the force, as his employment might endanger his colleagues and the entire population of Ferguson. Brown’s family and many of the city’s residents – mostly comprised of African-American communities – were astounded by the jury’s decision. It has been affirmed by the state prosecutor that certain pieces of evident suggested discrepancies in the witness’ statements and that until further notice, Wilson will not be charged. A federal investigation has been forwarded in order to uncover the truth behind the Ferguson shooting.
Back at the White House, President Obama will be taking part in three meetings tomorrow regarding police tactics in minority communities, getting involved in a situation that risks getting out of hand. On Monday 1st, Mr. Obama will be reviewing the funding and programs that provide military equipment to police departments and discuss the optimal way to deal with ongoing protests. In an attempt to build trust and strengthen bonds between U.S. citizens, regardless of ethnicity, President Obama will be meeting civil rights leaders to discuss the current efforts in this direction and to debate on how to reduce the mistrust between law enforcement and communities of color.
The visit that was scheduled for the president to Ferguson last week might be delayed due to the events commencing tomorrow. Meanwhile, in the speech held by Mr. Obama on the 30th of October, he asks both protesters and law enforcement officials in Ferguson to show “care and restraint” and discusses the need to understand that the situation has derived from a broader challenge that the United States has and still faces as a nation. He hopes that the meetings on course for tomorrow can prove to be a starting step in this direction.