Dispatch from Ferguson, Monday, August 18

by Li Onesto | August 18, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


(From my earlier notes)

“Our System Completely Fails Us.”

I talked to one Black man the other night. He told me, “Oh, man, I've had some pretty terrible experiences. I've been profiled and the crazy thing is I have two vehicles.  I have no stops at all in one of them. And then in another one that's a little more flashy, I'm consistently pulled over, consistently badgered, consistently followed, consistently having my license plate ran. And the crazy thing is on the one car, the plates and stuff weren't even right.  Go figure that, right? That's the one they don't stop me in. That—I was never bothered, never followed.  I don't have tinted windows. I don't have rims on that one. It's just a plain vehicle with some hail damage. No issues at all in that one.

I ask—was he basically being stopped for being a black man with a nice car?

“That's what it seems like to me. I'll put it like this, the last eight tickets I've had all came in my new vehicle. I haven't been pulled over one time in my old one. And I've had it for three years longer. The new one I've only had for about a year and a half. I never got pulled over in three years in that car. And then in my new truck, like I've had about 10 tickets in the last year and a half.”

How does he feel about no arrest yet of the cop who murdered Michael Brown?

“I think that that is a representation of a system that is in despair. I mean I don't know what to say. But when it comes to justice for African-Americans for things like this, our system completely fails us. And that's why people—that's why people are taking to the streets. That's why they're looting and things like that. Although I don't agree with it, I understand the anger. I understand the frustration behind it.

* * *

“It’s Like a Modern Day Lynching”

I spoke with a woman who has been in the streets. She told me, “I've been out there supporting the struggle and you know, getting justice for Michael Brown, and not just for Michael Brown, for any young African-American male that has been killed by the police unjustly.”

Like others, she has a lot on her mind. “My thoughts are for Mr. [Eric] Garner and his family, for Michael Brown and his family, I think that some justice that needs to be served. From my opinion, it's just been an up rage in the youth, in the people in this world on what is going on with cops killing black people, Black men, unjustly. So I'm concerned about that. It's almost modern-day lynching that's done by the police officers.”

How did she feel about the curfew? “People are not going in. They're not turning in. They're not leaving.  It's going to be people that are locked up. Tear gas is going to be just like they did the other night. It's just going to be more chaotic. I think that the people should be able to protest peacefully as long as they want to.”

What is her take on the mood on the street?

“Well, I think that it's mixed. I think that they feel that it's in correlation with the piece that was released on Michael Brown regarding the incident at the Mart and the actual killing that took place. I think that it's doing something that the police wanted it to do. It's creating dissention amongst the supporters. And it's also created another level of issues. The focus needs to be on Michael Brown, the injustice that was served and the way that he was executed. The police officer, Charles Wilson, has not been indicted. He hasn't been brought up on charges.  His face hasn't been seen. Allegedly, he's out of town. There's no current information. And this has been over a week now, or just about—just at a week that this child has been killed. It's ridiculous! Because it sums it all up... from beginning to end. Indict, convict him, send him to jail and this whole system needs to be redone. It's just this is set up. This is an old system. They need to go back and redo all these laws. They need to get all these people that's targeting people.

“I feel like if people would look at everything that happens and put a loved one in the place, think about your child and think about your child lying in the middle of the street with a bullet hole through their head. And then I think you would probably see where those parents are coming from.

“You know, it's just—it's crazy. I think it's absurd that we even have to stand here and ask them to do what's right, you know? To indict the cop. To let him go to court. That's the whole point of the court system, of the system that they have in place, is so that someone can determine did he do something wrong? And you won't even allow that system, you won't even, you know, indict him so that it can be determined whether he did something wrong. The fact that you won't deny it—that they won't even indict him says something about the system. Something is wrong. You don't trust the system that you put in place to make a determination as to whether or not this man has done something wrong? That's the question.”

And there is still not justice for Michael Brown.




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