There is no excuse for the destruction we are witnessing in Ferguson, Missouri. The perpetrators are not protestors – they are violent anarchists. Looting and burning are not the thoughtful acts of individuals seeking justice or social change.
The shooting death of Michael Brown is a personal tragedy for his family. It is our hope and prayer that someday all such incidents could be prevented. Sadly, fulfilling this hope appears to be further away than ever. The solution requires honest examination and recognition of the actual cause of such an incident. No one appears to be talking about the facts that caused Brown’s death.
At 18 years old, Michael Brown was a drug user and felon. Shortly after committing a crime, he was confronted by a police officer. He resisted arrest and assaulted the officer. When assaulted and threatened with further bodily harm the police officer defended himself. The fact that Michael Brown was 6’ 4” and weighed 290 pounds, and the officer was of average size, made it clearly a life or death confrontation.
Most people are raised to respect and value law enforcement. It is never, repeat never, appropriate to insult, much less, physically attack an officer! Why would anyone, in this case Michael Brown, physically assault an officer while resisting arrest, thereby inviting the use of deadly force and self-destruction?
The courage and diligence of the grand jury brings to mind the great service to our country of a young attorney in Boston more than 200 hundred years ago:
“The part I took in defense of captain Preston and the soldiers, procured me anxiety, and obloquy enough. It was, however, one of the most gallant, generous, manly and disinterested actions of my whole life, and one of the best pieces of service I ever rendered my country. Judgment of death against those soldiers would have been as foul a stain upon this country as the executions of the Quakers or witches, anciently.” – John Adams (From his diary)
Justice is not always popular, but the rule of law is our only protection against anarchy. Tragic incidents like Michael Brown’s death will only be avoided when all children are raised with a clear and unequivocal understanding that there are consequences to their decisions and actions. We must win the battle for the hearts and minds of our young men and women. Rioting is not a solution but a glaring example of the problem. There is no excuse!