Ferguson protests continue to rage on in Ferguson Missouri following the Grand Jury’s decision to not indict Officer Darren Wilson, who fatally wounded 18 year-old Michael Brown several months ago.
These protests are a revival of the initial protests that were seen in the weeks following Michael Brown’s death. While acts of violence seem to be greater and more englufing this time around, an underlying theme has seemed to remain constant; a Militarized Ferguson Police Department equipped with weapons and personal protective gear that seems to surpass resources used by members of the United States Armed Forces serving in active war zones.
Tensions between protesters and police seem to be much more even-keeled during this second round of protests, with reports of Police-on-protester violence less than many had predicted. The uptick in restraint hasn’t been a response to a lack of personnel or equipment though, with Ferguson police flaunting their resources of armored vehicles, military-like protective gear, assault grade weapons, Kevlar helmets, stun grenades, ACOG gun sights, Helicopters, and an assortment of ‘non-lethal’ projectile ammunition that has left many protesters on the injured list.
“Corporations are going to make millions — billions — selling that equipment to police departments”
Former Philadelphia police captain Ray Lewis, who has been an active part of the protests against Ferguson police, describes what he feels is the underlying cause of the situation in Ferguson as resident suffering a lifetime of exploitation and oppression, now having to conceptualize the growing concern of having police killing members of their community.
After explaining his take on the root of protester emotions in Ferguson, Lewis speculates on the reason that these protests have received the entirety of U.S. Media’s focus for the past week or so. Referencing the use of militarized gear and tactics, Lewis speculates that Ferguson Missouri has been nothing more, with regards to the corporate media’s coverage anyway, than one big ad from corporate weapons manufacturers targeting municipal police departments across America:
Corporations are behind a lot of this, do you know why they have that military equipment here? Because corporations are going to make millions — billions — selling that equipment to police departments. When I saw two (armored) personnel carriers come down the street, I just got chills — and it’s insulting to these people here.
While Al Sharpton, the Black Panthers, the KKK, and President Obama himself have all played their roles in what has been the largest media circus since the disappearance of flight MH-370, it seems that after the blood has been washed from the streets of Ferguson Missouri, this story may have the same ending as so many stories do in the United States these days; the rich get richer.