Yesterday, a grand jury in St. Louis County declined to indict Darren Wilson, the police officer from Ferguson, Missouri who allegedly shot and killed the unarmed 18-year-old man, Michael Brown. According to CNN, the jury declared this an act of self defense, therefore, no charges were held against him.
Many Staples students have reacted strongly to this decision, including several members of the Junior Statesmen Association (JSA).
“I think this is ridiculous,” Caroline McKechnie ’15 said. “Beyond this, I believe the conflicting accounts of witnesses could have confused the jurors.”
Evidence of what truly occurred on that day is uncertain. The public is still uninformed as to whether or not Brown’s hands were up in surrender when he was shot or if he was running at Wilson to attack him.
The president of the Staples Young Republicans Club also voiced her opinion on the issue.
“The media is incapable of telling the whole story. The grand jury made the correct decision. Anyone who wants to dispute that should first read the transcript from the grand jury that is available online,” Jacqueline Chappo ’15 said.
Since the shooting, the city of Ferguson has become a place of chaos and danger. Although thousands of Americans have been mourning the death of Michael Brown with peaceful protesting, looting and violence has surfaced in Ferguson.
Hadley Ward ’15, another JSA member, referenced the anger expressed in these cities.
“I think the main problem is that nothing is going to trial, which is why people are getting so upset,” Ward said.
Adults at Staples are weighing in on the debate as well. Throughout the school day, teachers, such as Jesse Bauks, Cathy Schager and Sara Pinchback, took class time to educate and discuss this with their students.
“I think we have huge social inequality in our country and in our justice system that we need to fix, but I admit I’m not on that jury, so I don’t know everything,” English teacher Sue O’Hara said. “They had to make a decision. No matter what, we need to make changes as a country.”
Evidence on the grand jury’s decision will continue to surface throughout the week.