THE TIME IS RIGHT TO REOPEN THE MURDER CASE OF MICHAEL BROWN JR.
On the fifth year of the anniversary of Mike Brown’s murder, a community that hasn’t healed came together to soothe their collective pain. While the national news talks about how much the protest have changed things for the entire nation, one thing remains in the way that is directly blocking the pathway to healing: the lack of accountability for the cops that commit these crimes.
We’ve seen it in New York with NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo not being indicted on charges in the murder of Eric Garner and countless others. Former Prosecutor Bob McCullough was voted out of office precisely because of his incompetence, lack of compassion and efficiency in punishing police officers for committing criminal offenses against citizens. While a lot of things have changed, what hasn’t is the culture of real-life consequences for the crimes.
Firing officers or forcing them to move to another department (commonly referred to as Cast-Offs or Gypsy Cops) is the most common way of ridding departments of bad cops, but shifting the problem to another city doesn’t solve the problem.
The law doesn’t mean anything to anyone if the people who enforce it are not subject to those same laws. Other jobs do not move people to another department or to another city if they are convicted of crimes on company time. We cannot and should not hold police to any different standard.
Darren Wilson was a former police officer who moved through several different departments particularly because of his aggressive behavior and multiple complaints lodged about assault, racism, and abuse throughout multiple departments. He should have been fired before he was able to murder Mike Brown, but now he is still free to walk the streets in the white flight neighborhoods of Missouri. For many people, this is not justice.
Mike Brown deserves his day in court. His family deserves to face the killer of their child in front of a jury of their peers. Darren Wilson has to face real accountability for his actions and witness the emotional damage he has caused for everyone involved. We have to do this every time this happens, and we cannot wait five years every time.