Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Point Of View In Ferguson

A new survey out by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch shows a pretty stark divide in the way people in the community view last month's deadly shooting of Michael Brown by police office Darren Wilson.

The survey, released Monday morning by the Kansas City-based Remington Research Group, found that 65 percent of African-American county residents believe that Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson acted unjustly when he ended Brown's life Aug. 9 on a Ferguson street. 
Conversely, 62 percent of the white residents surveyed by Remington believe the shooting death of Brown was justified.

The fissure broke even wider when surveyors asked if Wilson should be "arrested and charged with a crime" with 71 percent of African American residents responding "yes" opposed to the 71 percent of white survey-takers who believe the police officer should not be held liable. 
An equally stark divide emerged on the question of whether Brown was "targeted because of his race." 
Over three-quarters of the white respondents - 77 percent - responded "no" while 64 percent of the African-Americans answered in the affirmative.

I can't say that I'm surprised.  Black respondents overwhelmingly believed Wilson took Brown's life without justification, that as a result he should be arrested and charged, and that Brown was a victim because of his race.  White respondents overwhelmingly saw the opposite.  Whether or not you believe race had anything to do with Michael Brown's death, there's no question race is driving St Louis County's response to that death.

Seven in 10 whites think Wilson should walk.  Seven in ten blacks think he should be arrested.  If there's any silver lining, it's that the Justice Department and Eric Holder are all over this one, because I seriously doubt anyone who lives in Ferguson believes Wilson will ever spend a single minute in jail if it were up to the county prosecutor.

Frankly, I only have any hope at all for a federal case, but that will take years and if a Republican president gets in power in 2016, well, remember the DoJ's civil rights division under Dubya?

It's going to take a very long time to see justice for this, regardless.

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