by Brandon Musick
Saturday, August 9, 2014. 12:01 PM Central Time. 38.7383°N 90.2736°W. Seemingly random bits of information that come together to form one of the most tragic incidents in the United States this year.
Teenager Michael Brown, Jr. was walking along a roadway with friend Dorian Johnson when a police cruiser driven by Officer Darren Wilson pulled up beside them. The police officer allegedly requested that Brown and Johnson move out of the roadway and onto the sidewalk. This led to Brown and Officer Wilson getting into a physical altercation, which led to Wilson firing a shot with his pistol. After the firing of the shot, Brown and Johnson reportedly began to flee. Officer Wilson, however, fired more shots, killing the young Michael Brown, Jr. Johnson remained unharmed, but emotionally shaken.
Accounts of the event vary, but the devastating result remains the same. An unarmed teenage boy was unnecessarily killed and people all around the United States have called for retribution. Michael Brown, Jr. had no criminal record or a history of trouble with the law, while Officer Wilson was a six-year police veteran, with no past accounts of disciplinary action.
Riots and protests broke out in Ferguson, Missouri over the death of Brown, and there were several accounts of looting, theft, and vandalism. These crimes have become so problematic that even President Barack Obama has taken note, saying “while I understand the passions and the anger that arise over the death of Michael Brown, giving into that anger by looting, or carrying guns, and even attacking the police only serves to raise tensions and stir chaos.”
In an autopsy requested by the family of Michael Brown, Jr., it was determined that Brown was shot a total of six times, including twice in the head, but with no shots to the back. It is still unclear whether or not Brown had his hands raised in surrender to the officer to indicate that he desired no further struggle. However, the autopsy does contradict many accounts of those saying that Brown was shot while running from the police cruiser.
So in Ferguson, Missouri, there is a mix of people whom are demanding the immediate trial and conviction of Officer Darren Wilson, those whom are ardent that the officer was acting in self defense, people whom have no idea why they’re present, but protest anyways, and a slew of reporters trying to get to the bottom of this tragedy.
In the midst of all this, the Department of Justice has begun an official investigation, and plans to find who is responsible and if necessary, bring them to justice. Trending on Twitter for some time now, #Ferguson has become almost a craze, with seemingly everyone trying to input their opinions into the equation.