Demonstrations in Ferguson took a sour turn on Wednesday night after two officers guarding the police station were gunned down by an unknown shooter.
This comes a week after the U.S. Department of Justice released a report portraying widespread racism from within Ferguson’s police department and court system. According to the report, black and poorer residents were unjustly targeted in an effort to raise revenues, a claim which is as deplorable as it is unsurprising. Nonetheless, it does not even come close to justifying the attack on the police.
Such sentiments were echoed by president Barack Obama. “I think that what had been happening in Ferguson was oppressive and objectionable and was worthy of protest. But there was no excuse for criminal acts,” he said. Attorney General Eric Holder was also quick to condemn the acts, saying “this was not someone who was trying to bring healing to Ferguson-this was a damn punk.”
Protests continue in front of the Ferguson police station, which is being considered for dissolution in the wake of the devastating Justice report. The city is largely seen as a tipping point for race relations in the United States ever since August, when unarmed black man Michael Brown was shot to death by a white police officer who subsequently walked way without charge. It was hardly the first such instance in the country, and has since proven multiple times over that it wasn’t the last.
Conversely, once those responsible for shooting these officers-who are thankfully alive and well, and already out of hospital-are found, they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. And that is neither unexpected nor unprecedented.
Which is exactly how it should be…for everyone.