Does Ferguson, MO Matter to Merced Teens?

August 27, 2014 /

photo: Robert Cohen

by We’Ced Youth Media

Ed Note: Michael Brown was shot dead by Ferguson, MO police officer Darren Wilson on August 9th. In the days and weeks since, the small town of Ferguson has come into the national spotlight as protests, militarized police and some violence erupted.

Coming on the back of other murdered black bodies like Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Oscar Grant and Eric Garner, Michael Brown’s death and the subsequent response to protests in Ferguson have raised questions on the state of race relations in our country. We’Ced youth discuss the issue, sharing why Ferguson matters to them.

Lisbeth, 17

I am interested in the protests in Missouri but I don’t feel like I have the time to follow it. I don’t hear about it around school but I do hear about it on social media. It’s important because it’s a big thing happening in our country.

The role of the police should be to protect society instead of going against them, like they’re doing in Ferguson. The most important part of this to me is the abuse of authority by the Ferguson police. Darren Wilson did not have to shoot Michael Brown six times!

Fernando, 18

I am aware of what is happening in Ferguson mainly due to We’Ced and articles I’ve seen on Facebook. No one around me is talking about the issue, probably because they are either not informed about it or they are simply not willing to discuss such a topic. For me any matter of national importance is to be followed. According to many news sources, police officers in Ferguson abused their power and killed an unarmed Black teen. In this case, I would not find it appropriate for the Ferguson police force to be involved in the investigation of Michael Brown’s shooting.

In Ferguson there has been bad as well as good during these recent events. The bad being the brutal police force against an unarmed innocent kid who was shot without reason. For me, this is an opportunity to witness the amount of power the media has on people. I recall an interview with a Ferguson resident who said that the media is responsible for stirring up the city and encouraging violent protests because that’s what the media focuses on. I find it biased that the mainstream media would not cover more of the peaceful protests or what the police is doing to help in this unfortunate situation. I also believe that the media has turned this issue into a White/Black problem. From where I see it, it was not simply a race issue but a multitude of issues.

I feel for the people of Ferguson, especially the store owners and the rest of the people who will have to deal with this situation even after the cameras have been turned off.

Robert, 18

I’m not following the Ferguson shooting. I feel it’s irrelevant to me although it’s important because it’s a innocent young individual who died for doing absolutely nothing and I hate that.

I feel like the police have no place in this situation due to them being the cause of the tragedy that starting this in the first place. That whole family are the victims. The most important point to me is that a cop shot an unarmed young individual, like who hell does that?!

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