From The St. Louis American
“Either we need to redefine what probable cause means and say that the police are not subject to it, or we arrest him right away just as we would with any other person accused of committing a crime,” said the Rev. Carlton Lee of Flood Christian Church and the St. Louis chapter of the National Action Network.
On the one-month anniversary of Michael Brown’s death, Flood stood with Brown’s family, a member of the family’s legal team and a few dozen concerned citizens in front of Ferguson Police headquarters to ask that the Ferguson police officer who killed Brown be placed under arrest.
“We do not need an indictment in order to arrest someone,” Lee said. “You are arrested with information. If I walk in somewhere and I shoot someone six times that is unarmed, the police would immediately arrest me. They would take me into custody, they would take my picture, they would fingerprint me and I would be waiting until proper charges are filed against me. We are wondering why Officer Wilson has been granted immunity and been able to skip over certain processes.”
Brown’s family, including his parents and cousins, along with several family friends, continued to nod in agreement as attorney Richard Gay spoke similar sentiments.
“What distinguishes this case is that Michael Brown Jr. had his hands in the air, which is a sign of surrender and was shot from this position,” Gray said, holding his hands in the air. “We have upwards of six witnesses saying that, which distinguishes this case from any other case―and is why you have interest from around the globe.
“I thought about it last night, and when we are around the world, with known enemies, seconds before we are going to take their heads off, if you shot and killed one of them with their hands like this, you will be charged with a war crime.
“We think that Mike Brown Jr. should receive that same treatment in America,―his country, where his arms were raised in surrender, yet he was still gunned down.
“That is the reason why we are here right now. When you get the accumulation of these types of killings, we can no longer turn our heads when Darren Wilson is somewhere peaceful and secluded while waiting for the grand jury to take action.”
Adolphis Pruitt of the NAACP went a step further, asking for more transparency within the investigation from the law enforcement standpoint, as everyone pointed out what witnesses claimed was excessive force by Wilson.
“We are not going to be satisfied with a non-indictment,” Pruitt said. “Let’s ask the Ferguson Police Department and the St. Louis County Department what the use of force policy is. Has anyone seen it? Let’s find out. Release it. Talk about it.”
“The United States is not a dictatorship,” Lee said. “It is not ruled with a brutal army and an iron fist. Our police departments need to understand they are here to serve and protect us—all of us. When they commit crimes, they need to be arrested like everyone else. Otherwise, they need to admit that they are exempt from arrest and have different laws that define their exemption.”