Our View: Keep emotions in check amidst protests

Katie Wilborn/The News

The staff editorial is the majority opinion of The Murray State News Editorial Board.

Katie Wilborn/The News

Katie Wilborn/The News

For the past three weeks, Americans have witnessed multiple reports about the shooting of Michael Brown, a black teenager who was shot by white Ferguson police officer, Darren Wilson.

Outrage overcame residents in Ferguson, Mo., because it was discovered that Brown was unarmed, yet was shot six times in the altercation that began because Brown was walking in the middle of the street.

While shootings happen every day in the U.S., this particular incident raised a national discussion about the racial tension and militarization of police agencies and that it may be more of a problem than Americans thought.

Since the shooting, Saint Louis, Mo., is still a hotspot for continuing protests, looting and vandalism of property. Police officers are using military grade weaponry, tear gas, rubber bullets and armored vehicles to detain journalists and protesters.

The questions from the emerging case are still hanging in the balance. Was Brown shot due to prejudice and an unnecessary use of force? Or was Wilson justified in his actions?

Most of those who know about the death of Brown have already chosen what they want to believe.

These are questions people are trying to answer. With little evidence presented by the news and strong emotions from both sides of the argument, the answers may only come with more time.

Unfortunately, premature judgment and assumptions are encouraged by the media, who have reaped the benefits of the continuing story.

Amidst reporting selective facts and interviews, news stations compete with each other by negatively portraying either protesters or the police departments. Until the truth is clear, it is only fair to keep our minds open.

On the day of Brown’s funeral service, his father said he did not want any more protests. He instead asked for a day of silence.

This is something we should remember if we are choosing to speak out in regards to the events in Ferguson. Regardless of how emotional the subject may be, we should remain composed, objective and fair.

Peacefully protesting is our right. A protest was scheduled on campus for Thursday. There is a large difference between protesting within the limits of the law and resorting to looting stores, vandalizing property and committing violent crime.

While these were common occurrences during the protests in Ferguson, they do little to deliver a message or to remember Brown.

As a University where many St. Louis, residents come to study, it is important to be respectful and understanding to those who may be affected by the events in Ferguson.

We may see the protests, the barrage of smoke grenades and the screams of children on our TV and computer screens, but some people have had to witness it all in their backyards. There is no doubt these people have been deeply affected.

As students at Murray State, we all have a common bond, which should make us feel obligated to provide help and support for these students in any way we can.

We should also set an acting example for the rest of the country by sharing our opinions peacefully and expressing our beliefs while still obeying the law.