Ferguson, MO: Trayvon Martin's mom writes moving letter to Michael Brown's family
Civil unrest is still strong in Ferguson, Missouri. The people will no longer be silent as we watch as our brothers and sisters are gunned down like animals in the street with no recourse. Trayvon Martin's mom, Sybrina Fulton the founder of the Trayvon Martin Foundation, wrote a letter to 18-year-old slain teen Michael Brown's mother. The letter is published in Time magazine online.
Sybrina Fulton writes that she wishes she had a word of automatic comfort, but she doesn't. Fulton ends the letter with a fiery call to action. You have to read the emotional words to Brown's mom--and everyone in Ferguson, Missouri.
Read more ¿Qué más?: Michael Brown: 8 Things to know about the Ferguson, MO teen's murder
If they refuse to hear us, we will make them feel us ... Feeling us means feeling our pain; imagining our plight as parents of slain children. We will no longer be ignored. We will bond, continue our fights for justice, and make them remember our children in an appropriate light. I would hate to think that our lawmakers and leaders would need to lose a child before protecting the rest of them and making the necessary changes NOW…
Here's what you need to know about the situation up until now:
How did it start? Michael Brown and 22-year-old Dorian Johnson were walking in the middle of the street, when the Ferguson police officer confronted them, allegedly telling the young men either "Get the f*** on the sidewalk" or "Get the f*** out of the street," according to Johnson. The officer drove away but stopped and backed up, almost hitting them. "We were so close, almost inches away, that when he tried to open his door aggressively, the door ricocheted both off me and Big Mike's body and closed back on the officer," Johnson said.
Was there a struggle? Yes, but it's still not clear who the aggressor was in the situation. We do know that a shot was fired in the car and at one point both men were in the car. Johnson claims that the officer grabbed Brown by his neck and when Brown tried to pull away, a struggle began and the officer drew his weapon and almost instantly fired.
How many times was Brown shot? Michael Brown was shot at least six times, including twice in the head, a preliminary private autopsy performed by Michael M. Baden, the former chief medical examiner for the City of New York, found. All shots were fired to his front and he was shot four times in the right arm and twice in the head. One of the bullets entered the top of his skull, suggesting that his head was bent forward when it struck him and caused a fatal injury. Brown was not armed.
What were Brown and Johnson doing before the incident? On Friday, six days after the shooting, Ferguson police revealed that Brown was the "primary suspect" in the strong-arm robbery of a convenience store moments before he was killed. Store surveillance video shows a man pushing a clerk before walking out the front door with a box of Swisher Sweets cigars. The Brown family lawyer, Benjamin Crump, confirms that the person in the video appears to be Michael Brown. Chief Tom Jackson said that the officer who shot Brown was responding to a call about the robbery but later said that the officer approached Brown because he was "walking down the middle of the street, blocking traffic."
Has the officer been identified? Yes, six days after Michael Brown's execution in the middle of the street, police released the name of the shooting officer as 28-year-old Darren Wilson, who is Caucasian and a six-year veteran of the department without any history of disciplinary action. Wilson is on paid administrative leave and will have to undergo two psychological evaluations before returning to duty. There has been no talk of charges being brought against him at this time.
The unrest is still happening, nine days after the incident. Tensions have been escalating and even the National Guard was called in to the Missouri town.
My heart is heavy that we live in a world where racial profiling is not only still alive and thriving, it is tolerated even by those who don't engage in it themselves. Racial profiling and racism are real and they kill our children in the street like dogs. This must stop. We can't stand for this anymore. It's 2014.
Image via Help for Mike Brown's Family #Ferguson/Facebook
How many men and women of color have to be be killed in our streets before we refuse to accept this and protest this state of being?