As Ferguson and cities around the country are on edge for potential unrest after the grand jury’s decision on whether to indict officer Darren Wilson is announced, the president of the NAACP said he was disappointed that officials were more concerned about potential riots and violence than about “social justice.”
Speaking to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Monday, Cornell William Brooks, the president and CEO of the NAACP, said he was disappointed that officials are treating the situation as a “security crisis” instead of a “social justice crisis.” He said there will be “a great deal of disappointment” if no indictment is handed down, but he also said that the disappointment would be “exceeded by a sense of determination in terms of bringing racial profiling and police misconduct to an end.”
The grand jury has reportedly reached a decision, which will be announced on Monday evening.
Brooks, who has previously called Michael Brown’s death a “murder” and a “generational assault” on blacks, stood by his remarks that Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) was “presumptuous” in ordering a state of emergency and activating the national guard ahead of the announcement.
Nixon did so because of the widespread violence and chaos in Ferguson in the wake of Michael Brown’s death. Because of the extensive looting and unrest, local storekeepers are on edge, afraid that their inventory for the busy holiday season will be looted or customers too afraid of the area will just decide to stay away. So are cities and police departments around the country, even though social justice leaders and Michael Brown’s family have called for “peaceful” protests.
But Brooks, who said he could not predict the “gradations of response based on the charges,” insisted that “99%” of the demonstrators “have been non-violent” and said Wilson, the officer, needs to be “held accountable.” Brooks insisted that Brown was shot with his hands up, even though multiple autopsy reports disputed that charge.
He said that instead of being concerned about potential riots, officials should be more concerned about “young people who are suspected of the most underwhelmingly of minor offenses” that lead to “overwhelmingly major and often lethal force at the hands of police.” Brooks said that even if Wilson is not charged, civil lawsuits will still be on the table and the Department of Justice may decide to monitor the Ferguson Police Department.