By Owens Brown
Weelunk Contributor
Wheeling NAACP Board Member

The National NAACP stands with citizens and communities who are deeply disappointed that the grand jury did not indict Darren Wilson for the tragic death of Michael Brown, Jr. We stand committed to continue our fight against racial profiling, police brutality and the militarization of local authorities…….”

The Michael Brown decision transcends the issue of race. Even though race may be a factor in the outcome of the process, it is not the primary issue. The primary issue is justice.

Did Michael Brown receive justice? We, the NAACP, believe that justice was not served by the grand jury’s decision not to indict the police officer who killed an unarmed man.

The real issue is justice because an injustice to one is an injustice to us all.

This failure to indict raises the question in all minds, black, white, brown, yellow or any other human being who believes in justice.

One day, we or a family member or friend may find ourselves in a similar situation in which we are seeking justice to remedy a wrong that has been brought against us.

Even greater than the issue of whether justice was served, the issue of trust between the citizens and law enforcement. The foundation of America is built on trust. Without trust of our institutions to provide fair and impartial justice to all citizens – regardless of race, creed, or color – chaos, such as what we now see happening in Ferguson, Missouri, will always be a threat to our democracy.

People in Wheeling and the surrounding communities believe in justice and want justice for ourselves and our children, just as the citizens of Ferguson and the parents of Michael Brown want justice for their son.

The only way to ensure justice is to have a transparent legal system in which all people are respected, regardless of their race. Transparency in the form of positive collaboration between local authorities and leaders of our communities will develop trust.

One Response

  1. uvahoos

    What is Justice? Black’s Law Dictionary defines “justice” as the constant and perpetual disposition to render every man his due. How does the NAACP define “justice;” is it only outcomes which satisfy its political and social agendas?

    Mr. Brown comments that “this failure to indict raises questions in all minds . . . .” It most certainly does not. The grand jury’s decision not to indict officer Wilson reaffirms my faith in the justice system that, despite all of its failings and external influences, it is able to render a just decision regardless of the pressure from the mob and the executive branch of the federal government to indict Officer Wilson.
    The NAACP does a disservice to the grand jury and its own credibility by substituting its judgment for that of a grand jury which heard over 70 hours of testimony from 60 witnesses and poured over the physical evidence. Twelve brave men and women made a decision based on evidence, not passion or politics.

    The NAACP is myopic to make the Michael Brown case a cause celebre for racial injustice in America. Michael Brown committed a robbery on a community business (yes, using force and intimidation to steal is robbery not just mere shoplifting). This robbery led to his identification by Officer Wilson as matching the description of a suspect in that crime. Michael brown then commits the felony of assaulting a police officer. Michael Brown, an adult, was the instigator, aggressor and perpetrator of crimes. Michael Brown chose to commit criminal acts and demonstrated a lack of regard for his community. He set events in motion which led to his death, which while tragic, should not be placed on equal footing with true civil rights abuses and violations.

    Mr. Brown describes the grand jury decision as a “wrong that has been brought against us.” The true wrong in this situation would have been an indictment. I want law enforcement to protect and serve the communities in which they patrol and protect citizens from members of the community that show a disregard for law and peace. I want my police officers to investigate robberies and attempt to apprehend individuals who assault them. When Mr. Brown assaulted the officer, he committed crimes which required his apprehension and removal from an otherwise peaceful community. Mr. Brown’s actions triggered the method of his removal and ultimate outcome. Notwithstanding what actual injustices may exist in Ferguson, this is the wrong incident to stand as a proxy for injusitce. I grew up in the era of Rodney King, there is no comparison between King and Brown.

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