Just a little perspective. a lot of us (i say us, because i took part in non-violent protests in my city) aren't saying that M. Brown was some sort of saint. he may very well have been a criminal. the issue at hand, isn't about whether Michael performed a criminal act, the issues are that:
1) he was black (yes, this IS about race) and go to, lately, for taking down black men is lethal force. btw, i can cite several recent cases where a white kid was taken down without lethal force while doing something much worse than Brown, and in at least one of those instance, the guy was armed and was being chased by cops after trying to shoot someone.
2) whenever something like this happens, it seems there is no justice and pretty much everyone goes straight towards character assassination on the victim (Brown). let me remind you - an 18 year old kid was killed. this isn't a movie. this is real life.
if you look at the stats, you'll understand why there is so much rage in the black community, or those sympathetic to it. it seriously feels like open season on black men lately. pretty soon there will be pictures of white cops posed, their foot on the neck of the trophy black man they just shot. would i prefer the protests be non violent? yes - MLK is actually a hero of mine. do i condone the rioting a looting? no, but i DO understand it. what would be nice is everyone stop condemning the aftermath of this and, instead, putting energy into creating change. what would be nice would be if we've seen the last of the headline: white cop kills unarmed black kid. just because Ferguson is the hot news story recently, doesn't mean it's still not happening around the country...
black men are shot, beat up, arrested, hasselled, stopped, searched, etc, for no reason other than they are black on a daily basis. i know this for a fact, i have seen it happen all too often. it needs to change. WE need to change.
in closing, i'll leave you with this to ponder - today's news, NYC.
Sparking protests in several cities, social media outrage and a U.S. civil rights probe, a New York City grand jury declined to indict a white police officer in the death of a black man put in a chokehold after selling untaxed cigarettes.
The grand jury found "no reasonable cause" to indict officer Daniel Pantaleo, who was attempting to arrest Eric Garner, 43, on July 17.
As angry crowds gathered tonight to protest in Manhattan, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department is opening a federal civil rights inquiry.
Holder, while urging calm in the aftermath of yet another controversial grand jury action, promised that the federal inquiry would be "independent, thorough and fair.''
President Obama said the grand jury decision will spark strong reaction from the public, especially in the wake of a similar decision in Missouri last week not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed Michael Brown.
"There was a decision that came out today by a grand jury not to indict police officers who had interacted with an individual named Eric Garner in New York City -- all of which was caught on video tape and speaks to the larger issues that we've been talking about now for the last week, the last month, the last year and, sadly, for decades," Obama said.
"And that is the concern on the part of too many minority communities that law enforcement is not working with them and dealing with them in a fair way . . .this is an issue that we've been dealing with for too long, and it's time for us to make more progress than we've made. And I'm not interested in talk, I'm interested in action."
The medical examiner had ruled Garner's death a homicide. State charges could have ranged from murder to reckless endangerment.
Garner, who had asthma, could be heard on a cellphone video shouting, "I can't breathe" at least eight times as Pantaleo takes him down in what appears to be a chokehold, an action the New York Police Department prohibits. He died in a hospital hours later.
The video was shot by a citizen standing near the confrontation.
Family members expressed shock at the grand jury news - but said they will not give up the pursuit of justice.
"The fight isn't over - it's just begun," said the widow of Eric Garner, Esaw Garnder. She added that her husband would not be around for Christmas or any other special day anymore with the family.
"Why? Because a cop did wrong," she said to a room packed with about 200 community members and members of the media. "As long as I have a breath in my body, I will fight the fight."
Family lawyer Jonathan Moore said he was "actually astonished based on the evidence of the videotape, and the medical examiner, that this grand jury at this time wouldn't indict for anything."
In his first public comments, Pantaleo said he prays for Garner's family and hopes they accept his condolences.
"I became a police officer to help people and to protect those who can't protect themselves," he said in the statement. "It is never my intention to harm anyone, and I feel very bad about the death of Mr. Garner."
Police union officials and Pantaleo's lawyer argued that the officer used a takedown move taught by the police department, not a banned maneuver, because Garner was resisting arrest. They said his poor health was the main reason he died.
Standing with the widow, mother and children of Garner, the Rev. Al Sharpton decried the grand jury decision at the Harlem, N.Y., headquarters of Sharpton's National Action Network, a civil rights organization.
"How many people have to die before people have to understand this is not an illusion?" Sharpton asked, as one of Garner's daughters wiped away tears.
"This is a reality that America has got to come to terms with," he said.
Sharpton called for a national march to take place in Washington Dec. 13 to pres
btw, Mr Garner's crime? selling ciggerettes on the street. no, seriously.