Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Don't Shoot: Flashbacks

As events in Ferguson, Missouri continue to unfold, I try to be mindful of what I post on social networking sites, especially my Facebook page.  It's my intent to post only information that others might find useful.  It serves no useful purpose to agitate what is already a volatile situation. That said, I think that documentation can be a good thing, especially since the police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown and the aftermath have the makings of an important case study. There's a part of me that still thinks like a journalist.  I try to strike a balance, but it's a juggling act. 

Now -- I want to talk about a video I just viewed that really disturbed me.  The video shows a police officer pointing a gun at civilians in Ferguson and shouting "I will f***ing kill you!"  The officer, who is from another North County municipality, pointed a semi-automatic rifle at peaceful protesters during a verbal exchange.  The police department where the officer is based released a statement, confirming what happened and added that the officer has been "suspended indefinitely." I'm not one who frightens easily, but just looking at this video made me very uneasy.

I raised my kids only a few miles from Ferguson.  One of my children used to like visiting a mall in this municipality, and I remember that I hated driving through the community because law enforcement had a long history of harassing black people.  My mother, who was fearless and had a smile for everybody, even warned me to stay out of the area.

I haven't thought about any of this in a very long time, but a lot of memories rushed back today as I watched one video clip.  I'm not going to post the video because it is disturbing, but I'm glad the officer in question is suspended.


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