Yesterday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) failed to indict Officer Darren Wilson for racially profiling and brutally killing Michael Brown. While the DOJ found Ferguson and St. Louis police guilty of widespread abuse, racial profiling, and brutal misconduct, it's not enough.
Darren Wilson should have been indicted and made to see a day in court for his brutal action. After all, a young man was killed for being Black. The DOJ's failure to do so highlights deep-seated structural problems that must be fixed in order to keep our families safe. And the reality is Ferguson is America and President Obama must be held accountable. He must do everything in his power â" more than speeches and commissions â" to stop unjust killings by police, increase police accountability, and expand community control over policing nationwide.
After Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson brutally killed Michael Brown, the ColorOfChange community and our allies delivered more than 950,000 signatures to the White House demanding a federal indictment of Officer Wilson and a complete overhaul of the Ferguson and St. Louis police departments. Michael Brown's death shook the nation â" and for Black folks it was all too familiar pain. Law enforcement kill Black Americans at nearly the same rate as Jim Crow lynchings. And when they don't kill us, police disproportionately stop, ticket, arrest, and incarcerate Black folks at gravely inhumane rates.
Michael Brown was killed by the same corruption and vile racism that makes the St. Louis area one of the most hostile areas for Black Missourians. From 2011- 2013, Black people were only 67% of Ferguson residents, but 86% of police stops, 92% of searches by police, and 95% of those arrested for improper "manner of walking on the road." Even though white residents were the most likely to be found with contraband. There is a new lawsuit shines a glaring light on St. Louis' "debtors jails," where poor Black folks are excessively ticketed for minor offenses, arrested, and unjustly imprisoned if they cannot afford bail.
There is no doubt we are at a different place as a nation than we were 7 months ago. The DOJ's findings on the racial discrimination and abuse of St. Louis and Ferguson law enforcement is a direct result of the growing new civil rights movement led by Black folks nationwide who are risking life and liberty to secure an end to discriminatory policing. Black resistance is power. And across the country, people of all colors are rising up to create a country where Black lives are valued, police treat all communities with respect, and militarized policing isn't funded over education and social services.