As protests continue across the nation, it is worth asking what, if anything, can be done to address the perception that citizens cannot expect help from the courts when police officers are accused of unjustifiably depriving them of their liberty, property or even their lives.
Not even minimal justice was in the cards for the loved ones of Michael Brown or the occupied community in which he lived -- because that's not how it works. Officer Wilson, whatever he did inside or outside the state's rules on the use of lethal force when he confronted Brown on the afternoon of Aug. 9, was on the front line of a racist and exploitative system.
My husband always has the option of changing careers. My son can never change who he is. But my son and other black boys need allies in uniform to protect him. Allies like his father.
Officer Darren Wilson's account of the shooting of Michael Brown sounds not only like a Western film (an unbelievable one) but a Western film entrenched in masculinity discourse.
There is no doubt that black lives matter to the parents of black children. Our fear is rooted not in our ability to love and provide for them, but rather the realization that comes with daily reminders around us that their lives matter only to us.
The epidemic of monolithic thinking seems to me to be weighted far more on the side of white Americans, officers and civilians alike, thinking of all black boys as criminal.
Even if the federal government declines to prosecute Wilson, it is highly probable that the Justice Department under a 1994 federal law will take the Ferguson police department to federal court itself. Once there, upon a showing of a pattern of civil rights violations, they can force reforms under consent decrees with federal monitors.
Her tears said more than my words could express. As much as we were full of indignation, we were three white moms who had never considered bringing a photo of our sons to the local police station to say, "please don't shoot my child."
The majority population, most of whom pollsters tell us did not believe Officer Wilson committed any crimes, may believe the country can afford to accept things as they are. People of color -- Black men and their families and those who depend on them cannot afford that luxury. They need us to get this right.
I am a transsexual woman. I am therefore marginalized and oppressed. Such is the nature of life for transgender people in the home of the brave and the land of the free. I live in a red state. I am therefore pushed further to the margins. However, for me, this is only part of the story.
The Ferguson grand jury decision not to criminally prosecute a police officer in the shooting of an unarmed young black man has reached the Geneva HQ of the UN Office of Human Rights Chief Prince Zeid, but the consequences will be felt globally and probably with indefinite impact.
In the past, you might have read about police-related shootings in the back pages of the newspaper, between the grocery-store coupons and the used-car ads. But for some reason, police nowadays seem to be shooting citizens more and more, resorting to gun violence more often.
If other black boys become used to grand jury decisions like this one, how can they -- or their families and friends -- ever hope to rekindle trust in American justice or democracy? If teenagers know only cynicism of the system that is supposed to protect them, both they and the greater society lose.
Back in September, Peter Creticos of the Institute for Work and the Economy wrote a thoughtful and provocative piece in the aftermath of the first spate of rioting in Ferguson, Mo.
Ferguson provided us with an opportunity to engage in a much-needed national dialogue over how police are trained, what authority they are given, what weaponry they are provided, and how they treat those whom they are entrusted with protecting.
Why did the grand jury take it upon themselves to sort out the witness conclusively? The point of a grand jury is only to determine if probable cause of a crime, a very low legal hurdle, exists. If it does, they return an indictment and the case goes to trial for resolution.