It’s an outcome that will appall many Americans, sparking outrage not only in Ferguson but throughout the country. And despite all of that, it’s an outcome that will not surprise any black person, including yours truly.
Obviously, I hope that is not the case. I truly do hope that I am wrong and that Wilson is indicted by the Missouri grand jury now deciding his fate, which would mean he would at least face a trial and criminal charges over his killing of Mike Brown. But it’s hard not to expect the worst after Missouri Governor Jay Nixon called in the National Guard before the decision officially came down.
This isn’t knee-jerk pessimism at work here. To the black community, a non-indictment for Brown would be predictable. It would be as predictable as the verdict in the trial over the shooting death of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, a verdict that acquitted defendant George Zimmerman, allowing him to continue doing stupid things. Or as predictable as the involuntary manslaughter verdict handed down in the shooting death of restrained, unarmed, 23-year-old Oscar Grant in Oakland. Or as predictable as the acquittal of police officers charged with killing unarmed Sean Bell in Queens, New York by firing 50 shots into his vehicle. As predictable as the acquittal of the police officers who fatally shot unarmed Amadou Diallo 19 times, killing him. As predictable as the acquittals in the infamous police beating of Rodney King. And so on, back to Emmett Till and before.
And those are just the incidents the public knows about. For every Eric Garner choked and squeezed to death by the police or for every police officer caught on camera horribly shooting an innocent black man as he reaches for his license, there are thousands of racially tinged episodes of police brutality known only to the people involved, to the friends and families of the victims, and to pockets of the impacted communities.
Read the full article at The Intercept.