Over the past days we have had some individuals ask why we are not covering the Michael Brown shooting on any of the sites of M V Consulting, Inc. Several note that we provided extensive coverage on similar shootings of Oscar Grant, Adolph Grimes, Sean Bell, and many others. The simple answer is because we covered those many other events.
Whenever there is a person who is shot by police in highly questionable circumstances there is a lot of emotion. When that person is unarmed, and as has been reported surrendering, the emotion grows even stronger. Like many people of color, rage is a natural reaction to a situation that happens far more commonly than the major media is willing to report.
Often in these cases, especially with the proliferation of cell phone cameras, there is video and eye witnesses. Often there is little doubt of guilt, and normally there is some degree of coverup enacted. The story, if it reaches the media, invariably changes from the atrocity to any aspect of the case other than the shooting itself. Any crimes in the area, rightly or wrongly, are attributed to the shooting and become a focus.
Usually, if any coverage is provided by the major media, the Rev. Al Sharpton’s of the world arrive on the scene. Often they inflame the situation, while at the same time distracting from the core issue at hand. In the middle of all these twists and turns by the media, the officer responsible is generally lost from the mass attention.
After a week or so, the media moves on, forgetting what has happened. Far too regularly it is at this point that deals are made with the DA, or the case is summarily dropped. Commonly investigations justify the shooting on tenuous grounds. In the few cases where prosecution moves forward, years later there normally is a slap of the wrist given to the (former) officer involved.
The pattern is so consistent it is sickening. It is so common that there is no year since 2009 that can be named where some half dozen of these types of shootings don’t occur somewhere across the nation. And 2009 is used because that is when Oscar Grant was shot. That’s when we started covering this kind of incident and found the huge occurrences and constantly repeated pattern. We can only hope that, if the facts are as is being reported, Michael Brown’s shooting breaks the mold of these events.
But the anger that this kind of event brings, the consistency and frequency of it, is too draining. It’s not that I don’t think it should be covered, I just don’t have the strength to live with that much anguish again. And I know that any hardship covering this story my bring is as nothing compared to the family and friends of the victim, Michael Brown’s family and friends in this case.
The reality is that we need to do more to understand the cause of these kinds of crimes. What is it, across the country, that justifies in the minds of some police officers that killing an unarmed man is ok. Is it because they are racist? That just seems to simple an answer to be complete. Is it because of the stigma of violence attached to Black men? Is it the pent up rage of the officers? Is it the belief that they are protected from consequence for these actions? Maybe a combination of all the above? Whatever it is, it exists and in abundance.
This answer man not satisfy many, but that is the answer we have. For those unfamiliar with the exact facts, as currently known, on the Michael Brown shooting, we believe this is a good summary.
Our condolences to the family of Michael Brown.
President – M V Consulting, Inc