It’s not known exactly when a Missouri grand jury will release its decision on whether Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson will face criminal charges in the Aug. 9 fatal shooting of Michael Brown, but I think it is safe to assume two things: Wilson will not be charged and people will become violent.
We’ve seen it before. Those who remember the Rodney King beatings in 1991 know the unrest it caused in Los Angeles and even in Atlanta. My friend still tells the tale of how he was walking home from work to the Castleberry Hill area and was chased by an angry mob down Techwood Drive.
Could it happen again?
Georgia police are prepping for unrest, so it seems the professionals believe the potential for violence exists locally.
In Missouri, violence seems almost guaranteed.
The FBI has warned police departments across the country to be on alert for violent protests.
Some aren’t exactly tamping down emotions.
In a “St. Louis Cop Talk” forum, a commenter alleging to be a police officer is advising homeowners to buy weapons.
“If you do not have a gun, get one and get one soon. We will not be able to protect you or your family. It will be your responsibility to protect them. Our gutless commanders and politicians have neutered us. I’m serious, get a gun, get more than one, and keep one with you at all times,” wrote someone under the name “Concerned Cop.”
I have a carry permit, but that advice seems extreme.
The massing of law enforcement could be seen as providing a catalyst for hostilities. Dozens of Department of Homeland Security vans have been spotted near Ferguson, and a Navy veteran who posted pictures of the gathering was fired from his job at a hotel.
“The head of security for [the hotel] was in there, and he pretty much called me a terrorist, saying that I dishonorably served my country for posting those pictures and videos on Facebook,” the veteran told CNN.
Legitimate protests groups are gearing up for the release of the grand jury report, which will happen 11 miles away from Ferguson in Clayton, another suburb of St. Louis. I predict it happens sometime Thursday through Monday.
The grand jury making the decision if comprised of six white men, three white women, two black women and one black man. St. Louis County overall is 70 percent white, but about two-thirds of Ferguson’s residents are black.
Pastor Robert White told CBS News he and other community leaders are preparing to celebrate an indictment of officer Wilson, but police seem to be “preparing for war.”
Here’s a clue for the pastor. The police likely already know the grand jury’s decision. The fact they are ramping up for violent protests should tell you all you need to know.
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