This is not an easy subject. A young man, already wounded, is shot multiple times by a police officer. People all over the country are inflamed. They assemble to protest. Police overreact. Pictures of the 60s – police with dogs – are compared with those of today.
It is difficult to remain objective when things like this happen, especially if one has experienced first-hand unjust treatment merely because of the color of one's skin. When skin tone matters, all of the intelligence, education, credentials, licenses, skills and abilities matter little, if at all. I am a witness. And if one is to look beyond skin tone, there are other ugly truths one must face, even in the escalated altercation that ended in the slaughter of a young black man. Objectivity, however, is necessary so as not to get caught up in the ugly emotions that drive these horrific incidents.
Ugly truth: The police officer told Mr. Brown and his friend to get out of the street and take the sidewalk. Rather than follow this simple, yet, as it has been reported, nastily spewed instruction, the young men told the officer they were almost at their destination.
Unanswered question: Why couldn't they just get out of the street?
Ugly question: Did this provoke the policy offer? Most likely, it did.
THE question: Is the police officer justified in shooting Mr. Brown multiple times after he had surrendered himself, already shot twice? Absolutely not!
Mr. Brown was murdered. Unjustifiably murdered. I cannot help but think, however, that Mr. Brown would be alive had he withheld an explanation as to why he would not follow the officer's instruction, taken the sidewalk (a pedestrian path), rather stayed in the street (a vehicular thoroughfare).
As Kelli Kox has instructed her sons: "When the police come, this is what you do. This is how you speak to them. Do not get into a power struggle. Listen to them. If they are trying to give you a ticket, get the ticket. Because it's not worth it. It's just not worth it."
Something must be done to stop these murders committed behind shields of authority. The responsibility is everyone’s, not just one side or the other. I always maintained that if George Zimmerman had stayed in his vehicle, Trayvon Martin would not have been killed that night. Mr. Zimmerman’s disobedience was the link to Mr. Martin’s murder. In this instance, Mr. Brown’s disobedience was the link to his own demise. If Michael Brown and his companion had taken the sidewalk, chances are Mr. Brown would still be alive.