Michael Brown’s Killer Indicted by Black People’s Grand Jury

After two days of investigation and deliberations, a Black People’s Grand Jury handed down a first degree murder indictment against former Ferguson, Missouri, policeman Darren Wilson in the death of teenager Michael Brown. Four Black prosecutors presented evidence to the 12 St. Louis County residents, who also drew on the records of the mostly white official grand jury that failed to indict Wilson in November. “Darren Wilson is a killer, but he’s not out there by himself,” said lead people’s prosecutor Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement. “Somebody made the decision to leave the body there for 4 ½ hours” in the blazing August heat. Darren Wilson “has been rewarded with almost a million dollars by white people. The problem is institutional, and this grand jury is more capable of understanding that” than the one that was seated and manipulated by St. Louis prosecutor Bob McCulloch.

An Awakening People

Dr. Anthony Monteiro, the lifelong activist and former professor of African American Studies at Temple University, said young Black people are “awakening. They’re getting a sense of their power and what they can do without any corporate-designated leaders. And, once they’ve seen that, they’re going to connect the killing of Black people by the police to the economic and social crisis that engulfs the country.” Dr. Monteiro was fired from his post at Temple for his political activism.

Beyond Issues of Brutality: Social Transformation

“What we’re seeing is the radicalization of a new generation,” said Ajamu Baraka, an editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report and fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. Through struggle, Black youth will learn that “what is absolutely required is a fundamental transformation of social relationships, and of the entire structure of oppression in this country.” Baraka was a co-founder of the U.S. Human Rights Network.

America’s “Unworthy Victims”

Activist scholar Paul Street, author of the recent article, “Worthy and Unworthy Victims: From Vietnam and Iraq to Ferguson and New York,” said the United States lauds its soldiers and cops as saints. The message is: “They’re policing the world and keeping chaos at bay; they’re nobly sacrificing themselves for the common good.” Meanwhile, “the folks on the other end of our guns” die in far greater numbers: millions killed in Vietnam and Iraq and untold numbers murdered under color of law in the “homeland.”


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