First a all, a young man named Michael Brown gets shot dead by police. They say he was comin’ at ’em; people who was with him say he had his hands up in the air. He was 18 an he had no criminal record. He was two days away from startin’ college.
Now, you know how Mother Cray gets when young men die. It just brings back all the pain a losing her two boys, which brings it all back for me an Nelly. Even ol’ Rufus gets to howlin’, which sets the puppies to whinin’.
So we’re all cryin’ an carryin’ on about how tragic this is an askin’ ourselfs what that poor young man did to deserve the death penalty, an we see tanks an tear gas an military rifles rollin’ through Ferguson. At first we thought it was the National Guard, but it turns out it was the police. They was equipped with military stuff — armored vehicles, assault rifles, body armor, gas masks. I think it’s because we’re not in a war at the moment an the people what makes all the war machines decided to keep makin’ it. The federal government buys it an gives it to police departments.
I had to ask myself how I would feel if the Remote Town Police Department came rollin’ by the hardware store in that kinda gear. I think I would feel like they was the enemy tellin’ me I’m next to die if I complain — an I would complain.
People was bein’ tear gassed in their own back yards!
Now, if we have trouble here in Remote — an all towns have trouble now an again — Chief Lawford comes out an talks to folks. But I don’t expect Chief Lawford would ever shoot someone what wasn’t armed, so I guess it ain’t the same thing.
I think if you give a group a people military grade equipment an tell ’em to go ahead an use it, that’s what they’ll do. They will lord it over folks what ain’t so well equipped an trouble will happen.
It happened here in our state a few months ago when a young black man (the young man in Ferguson was black too, by the way) was shot in the head in the back of a police car. He had been searched an cuffed, and the police said he shot hisseslf. I have no idea how that’s even physically possible.
Anyway, folks came out to protest an the Durham cops met up with ’em all done up in riot gear. So, what do you think happened? The cops got bossier an bossier an pushed people around. It ended with police shooting tear gas an innocent people being hurt.
It was the same thing in Ferguson. People came out an was met with what looked like the military. Of course there was trouble.
Then last night, somebody got smart an went out an talked to folks, just like Chief Lawson does.
Turns out people was hurtin’ that someone got the death penalty with no judge or jury. He was a good kid, they said. They wanted somebody to know how much they was hurtin’ about all this, an the original answer had been military-style defense.
So, last night there was no riot because police just listened. Maybe we need to do more a that.