What do you think about what's happening in Ferguson?
As violence continues to erupt in the fourth day of protests over the shooting of unarmed teen Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, more people are coming forward with tales of police abuse. Reporters from The Washington Post and The Huffington Post were arrested and claimed they were assaulted. Now a pregnant protester, Mikiesha Wickerson, claims she was thrown to the ground, Maced, and held at gun point.
Wickerson, who is six months pregnant, says that she and two cousins were in a car and yelling at police while stopped with the door closed when officers rushed the vehicle.
In the incident caught on video, cops in riot gear ran at the car, opened the door, and pushed people to the ground. Wickerson's back window was smashed out. She is six months pregnant.
She says that the police told her if she didn't shut up, they would mace her and bring her to jail. She told KMOV:
I was like 'can I please get some air' because I started contracting and I was sweating and had the Mace running through my eyes.
The town has been in turmoil since Mike Brown, an unarmed teen who was walking to his grandmother's house, was shot. Police say he grappled with an officer. Witnesses say he was shot several times execution-style as he held his hands up. Police have so far refused to name the officer involved due to threats on his life.
Wickerson says she and her friend were merely saying "things" to the cops, and were unarmed, and were sitting in the car.
Having been witness to how police treated peaceful protesters during Occupy Wall Street, I'm well aware that cops can pounce with little provocation and completely ignore one's right to peacefully assemble.
On the other hand, police officers are dealing with full-scale riots in Ferguson and are trying to keep the peace (or perhaps escalating it, depending on who you talk to).
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has reportedly announced that he will remove the police force from Ferguson, allowing for state and federal troops to take over.
Unfortunately, in these situations where emotions are inflamed on both sides, both sides are capable of acting wrongly. Frustration with police is no excuse to loot your local store owners; frustration with public commentary is no excuse to abuse your police power. Allegedly using Mace on a pregnant woman who has said some stuff you don't like isn't acceptable.
Luckily, Wickerson's baby was pronounced fine at a hospital.
What do you think about what's happening?
Image via KMOV