A decision is expected any day in the grand jury investigation of Darren Wilson, whose August 9 killing of Michael Brown uncorked an endless wave of grief and anger among Ferguson’s black population about decades of police abuse and violence. Rumors are thick that there will be no indictment, or an indictment on a minor charge. Meanwhile, the governor has announced he is preparing to call out the National Guard — again — to respond to anticipated protests, and the New York Times ran a story about the fears of white people. The KKK has also announced it isready to use “lethal force,” but with fear-mongering and threats of violence from state officials and mainstream media, who needs the Klan?
Like the shooting itself, the grand jury decision will be but a moment in a much larger, ongoing crisis for black and brown people in Ferguson and all over America. Even now, we are awaiting another grand jury decision on the police killing of Eric Garner in Staten Island.
Without accountability, there can be no rule of law. If Wilson is not indicted, or is under-indicted, the clear message is that it is open season on people of color, that St. Louis has declared that Darren Wilson is not a criminal but that the people who live under the thumbs of the Darren Wilsons of this country are. It would say to the cry that “Black lives matter” that, no, in fact, they do not.