Nightfall Comes Officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted

It was a cold chilling night in St. Louis and in Ferguson and for whatever reason and although they knew the verdict they waited until nightfall to announce that Officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted for the shooting death of Michael Brown the unarmed Ferguson Missouri teenager. It was a decision that was not unexpected, it had in fact been expected the verdict would not call for indicting Officer Wilson for Michael Brown’s death.

And now there have been reports of shots fired tonight in Ferguson we can only pray that no one will die or even be hurt because of the verdict, but that may be pure wishful thinking. It would seem to me, from all that I have come to know about the events that transpired when Michael Brown was shot and killed by Officer Darren Wilson that there has been a miscarriage of justice. But of course I wasn’t there and I didn’t have access to what the Grand Jury did. But whatever the case it is in my mind very difficult to justify shooting someone who was not armed and who from all accounts posed no direct threat to the officer.

It may have been an incident in which the officer acted within the bounds of his training and within the bounds of what was police procedure, or what passed as police procedure in Ferguson, but it is not something given what I know, that makes any sense to kill someone who was unarmed and who was not actually threatening the officer at the time he shot Michael Brown. I have to believe that if Darren Wilson was following accepted police procedure of the Ferguson Police Department then something is very wrong with that police department.

This will not be the end of events in Ferguson Missouri, nor should it be. The decision not to indict Officer Wilson leaves many more unanswered questions than it answered and there can be no satisfaction for anyone involved with the nighttime rendering of such a verdict. I hope that the investigation by the Department of Justice will be able to shed light on why this incident happened and why a police officer was able to legally gun down a teenager who was unarmed and who by all accounts was in the act of surrendering to the policeman at the time of his death.

If in fact (and I find it very difficult to accept) the officer was really following procedures known to be in place in the Ferguson Police Department at the time then those procedures most certainly need to be brought to the light of day and changed to prevent anything like this from ever happening again. Having come from a family of which included a Sheriff, a Deputy Sherriff, a Jailer and two policemen I know that the members of my family who were involved in law enforcement never followed or never would have followed that type of police procedure nor did they ever work for a police or sheriff’s department that had police procedures like that in place.

There is a reasonable expectation of what an individual can expect when the police have reason to believe or suspect that that individual or any individual within their jurisdiction is possibly involved in criminal activity or behavior and it should be that if they are not armed nor threatening then they should not expect to be shot by the police. The police have a perfect right to protect themselves and the public from criminal activity and from threatening individuals but shooting first and asking questions later should have went out with the taming of the west.

In my mind there are too many unanswered questions about this shooting that did not get answered by the decision of the Grand Jury tonight. And justice was by no means served by this decision. A family is in mourning for their son and they deserve answers that to date they have not received.

Bob Bearden


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