VS: Don’t Blame Wilson, Blame our Country

Why America’s Justice System is to Blame

Photo courtesy of Yahoo Images

Photo courtesy of Yahoo Images

Cody Shuster, Sports Editor

For many citizens, not just in Ferguson but around the nation as well, it didn’t matter what choice the grand jury made in the recent Ferguson shooting case, the decision was going to be viewed as racist and/or corrupt.

When you stop to think about it, justice was not created to please everyone. Rather, it was created to give criminals what they deserve. If they are seen guilty, so be it. If they are seen innocent, so be it. Based upon the facts, by the end of this particular trial, there wasn’t probable cause to file charges against officer Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed Mike Brown. This court decision wasn’t based on race or any other factor, it was based upon the American justice system. If you take a second to actually look at the case, there is no proof or evidence that Wilson’s choice to shoot Brown was in any way related to racism or police “brutality.”

One of the first laws when going to court, regardless of what role you play in that trial or case, is that you are sworn to honesty. When you are a witness to an event, it’s expected that you are honest about what happened. Therefore, due to the obscene lack of honesty amongst the witnesses of the case, it’s not completely clear what exactly happened. According to cbsnews.com, an Associated Press review of thousands of pages of grand jury documents reveals numerous examples of statements made during the shooting investigation that were inconsistent with the physical evidence and facts. In fact, some people who originally reported to be witnesses of the case later changed their story to fit in with what they had seen on television or heard from another witness. The job of a grand jury is to separate what is fact and what is fiction. What seemed to be facts from the shooting soon became fiction with what people had added in to their statements to the police, most likely to add on to what many citizens around the country now see as an abuse of power or a lack of racial equality in America. It’s not our justice system that is corrupt, it’s us as a society that is making our justice system corrupt. Too often, we’re influenced by what the media says or by what we see on television, that we no longer read up on an event to form an opinion. Rather, we just jump to a conclusion that fits in with what the majority is saying.  We just do it the easy way and listen to what the bias media is reporting. Too often, we don’t take the time to think for ourselves.

Let’s take a moment and look at this from a different point of view. Not from the court’s view, not from the media’s view, and not from Ferguson’s view. Instead, let’s look at this event from officer Wilson’s view. According to his statement along with other witnesses reports, Wilson was being attacked by Brown. On top of that, Brown was a very large man. While Wilson was sitting in his car, it’s reported that Brown had attacked him. According to nytimes.com, on page 33 of officer Wilson’s testimony, he says, “So when he stopped, I stopped. And then he starts to turn around, I tell him to ‘get on the ground, get on the ground.’ He turns, and when he looked at me, he made like a grunting, like aggravated sound and he starts, he turns and he’s coming back towards me. His first step is coming towards me, he kind of does like a stutter step to start running. When he does that, his left hand goes in a fist and goes to his side, his right one goes under his shirt in his waistband and he starts running at me.” I don’t know about you, but if a large man was to come at me like that, I would be terrified. Not to mention, although it’s contrary to what the popular witness report is, the physical evidence shows that there’s no way Brown’s hands were actually up in the air. Although I can’t say my first instinct would be to shoot the man, I can say I would try to fight back. But if I only had a gun and my only choice was to shoot him, then so be it. Unfortunately, we’ve become a very violent society. That violence isn’t only visible in Ferguson, through the shooting and now the protests going on, but it’s also visible throughout our country. Thousands of murders happen every day that go unreported. Why should we only focus on one? Because it involves who we see as our guardian? Because we like to look at it from a racial point of view, that being a white man shooting an African-American man? Or is it out of pure ignorance to others? That we can’t find it in ourselves to respect those in a position of authority? This goes for Americans as a country, we need to change our actions and the actions of others before we can try to change the justice system. Police officers are trained to neutralize all threats. If a human being, regardless of race, is being a threat, then a cop is going to neutralize that threat.

No matter what side is taken in this case, it’s clear that justice has been served. That being said, violent protests and riots are absolutely no way to handle a situation. If those who are violently protesting and rioting want to keep up tearing apart their city and destroying the country that they live in, then how about we just arrest them too? I know we have a right to protest what we don’t like, but not by burning our nation’s flag. Why fight the authority that has the intention of keeping you safe? When has anyone ever been taught to dispute a decision they don’t like with violence? What good does it do to fight fire with fire? Why tear apart your own city? Why burn your country’s flag? Why punish a country because of what one person did? I’ll agree that what happened was tragic, I’ll show sympathy for Mike Brown and his family. Of course what officer Wilson did was wrong, but can we really blame just him for his actions?Although it seems to be a huge problem as of late, racism should not be our number one concern. I’ll agree that it is definitely a huge concern and that racism is not acceptable, but our number one concern right now should be how corrupt the American justice system has become and how we, not only as a society but as a country as well, can fix that system.

That being said, let me ask you this: Would you rather live in our society now or a society where everyone burns down their city because they don’t like a decision that was made? A society where you’re safe or a society where you fear for your life when you walk out of your front door?