It’s A Sin To Kill A Mockingbird: Ferguson Trial Verdict Is Out


On August 9 2014, police officer Darren Wilson shot unarmed eighteen year old Michael Brown. With the rise in racial police brutality over recent years, it has come (while deeply sickening) as no surprise that Wilson, after his trial yesterday, has not been charged with the murder of the young boy. While the officer was not found guilty, the prosecutor said, ‘there is no question, of course, that Darren Wilson caused the death of Michael Brown.’

Brown's Mother (in sunglasses) after the verdict was released.
Brown’s Mother (in sunglasses) after the verdict was released.

Local radio, St. Louis Public Radio, reported of the incident that occurred, ‘a struggle ensued at the police car. Wilson drew his gun and fired twice. One of the bullets hit Brown’s right thumb. Based on gunpowder residue and Brown’s blood on the gun, Brown’s hand was close to the gun when it fired.

Brown and Johnson took off from the car. Wilson got out in pursuit. Brown turned around some distance away. Wilson fired, hitting Brown twice each in the chest and head, killing him. The deadly shots entered from the front of Brown’s body, after he had turned around.’

Brown was walking from the shops to his Grandmother, after his first days at college. Bystanders report the events to occur in quick succession. Brown was pulled over by Wilson for an unknown reason. Wilson attempted to arrest Brown, who ran, with his hands in the air (a sign of surrender). Wilson shot Brown, repeatedly, from behind. Aiming to kill. His dead body was left uncovered in the streets. The candlelit vigil that was held for the murdered teenager later that evening was met by riot vans.

Riot buses in Ferguson
Riot buses in Ferguson

While Prosecuting, Attorney Robert P. McCulloch intends to release all the files from the trial to the public, in order for them to resolve their own decision on what the verdict should have been, the trial was undoubtedly bias; the verdict proves this.

Since the shooting, protests (which have largely been peaceful) have sparked across Ferguson and spread throughout America and even across seas to places such as China.

Graffiti in St Louis has appropriated the Hunger Games slogan (a film adaptation of a book depicting an oppressive government being overthrown)
Graffiti in St Louis has appropriated the Hunger Games slogan (a film adaptation of a book depicting an oppressive government being overthrown)

Officials such as President Obama, and the devastated Brown’s family, have called for peaceful protest, with Brown’s family pleading ‘we ask that you channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change’, however, the protesting is in places becoming violent. There have been local shops raided, police cars over turned, hospitals reporting multiple injuries, and even flight restrictions as shots are being fired into the air. There is consequently a concern that the police will react violently, as they did to peaceful protests in August.

Michael Brown, shot unarmed at eighteen years old.
Michael Brown, shot unarmed at eighteen years old.

The implication of the verdict is undeniably crushing. Cherethia Salisbury, who knew Brown, says ‘it’s going to divide our city. It’s going to be horrible. These kids are hurt, because these are their friends, these are their family members. They’re hurt, they’re broken.’ What the verdict undoubtedly reiterates about law enforcement and racial profiling in America is that racist shootings and police brutality will go unpunished.

With twelve year old Tamir Rice being shot by police just days ago for playing with a toy gun, the number of racial shootings only rising, the following question must be asked. How many more young, black people must be killed before an end to this terror will occur? Perhaps Darren Wilson, and all those who agree with this outcome, would be wise to remember Harper Lee’s warning: ‘it is a sin to kill a mockingbird’.


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