By Owens Brown
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.