What do you feel needs to be done to restore peace in Ferguson?
by Lisa Fogarty
The violence in Ferguson, Missouri, rages on, more than one week after a police officer reportedly shot dead an unarmed teenager named Michael Brown. In response to long nights filled with looting and a back-and-forth exchange between police and protesters which has included gunshots, Molotov cocktails, arrests, and cops in riot gear releasing tear gas, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has done the only thing he can: he has called in the National Guard to help restore peace.
His request for the help of federal troops comes just as the results of a state-performed autopsy on the teen, ordered by Attorney General Eric Holder, reveals Brown was shot six times -- twice in the head. The city remains divided, as some flock to show support for Police Officer Darren Wilson, who reportedly shot Brown, while others continue to demand justice for the teen.
A group of more than 100 people -- including many members of law enforcement -- rallied in front of St. Louis news station KDSK on Sunday because they disagreed with the station's decision to broadcast details about Wilson's home address. And, let's be serious here, does anyone actually think that was a good idea? I don't care if Wilson is as guilty as sin, if you don't allow him his Constitutional right to a fair trial, you negate the message behind your demand for "justice."
Wilson supporters have also set up a GoFundMe site for the officer and have raised more than $1,500 for his legal expenses. Meanwhile, Wilson -- who has served with the police department in Ferguson for six years -- has reportedly fled his home, fearing his life, which isn't sitting too well with some folks. Just across the street from where the pro-Wilson protesters set up shop, a different group gathered waving signs that read, "Ferguson Police are harboring a fugitive."
No matter where you stand, I think everyone can agree on one fact: the situation in Ferguson is beyond the control of local police. Nixon was right to bring in the National Guard. But I question what it will actually take to ease tensions before someone else is killed.
Do you think Governor Jay Nixon made the right call? What do you feel needs to be done to restore peace in Ferguson?
Image via © Rick Majewski/NurPhoto/Corbis