Filed under Staff Editorials

Ferguson Under Fire

Staff Editorial

Donovan Elrod

What happens when the country that claims to be the land of the free denies its people their freedom? What are we then?

We typically have seen examples of these restrictions in violent countries where revolution or civil unrest occurs, until the incidents in Ferguson, Mo. took place.

On Aug. 9, Michael Brown – an unarmed 18-year-old black man who was due to start college in two days – was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer. A week of riots and protests occurred after the incident. These actions were answered by the predominantly white Missouri police and resulted with tear gas, rubber bullets and other excessive force. At the same time, police tried to deny journalists access to the scene.

How the police handled this situation and the creation of the situation itself was immoral. Police should not meet peaceful protestors with armored trucks, armed to the teeth with assault rifles, smoke grenades and tear gas.

These seem like actions that would be taken by a totalitarian government with the aim to shut down the rights of its people. We shouldn’t see this kind of militarization of the police in the U.S. It’s reminiscent of the police violence in banana republics.

What makes the Ferguson police think that they have the authority to violate a person’s First Amendment rights, especially so violently? Firing on a peaceful protest is beyond immoral and unethical. This has been a colossal mistake that has drawn attention from all over the world.

No local police force should act so violently towards its citizens. The U.S. is not a country at war with itself, so why is it starting to seem like we are? The federal government should quickly get involved in helping relieve the tension in Ferguson. We need to know why – why an unarmed teen-ager.

The people of Ferguson deserve justice.

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