Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Feeling the Weight Borne by Ferguson Grand Jury Members

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Feeling the Weight Borne by Ferguson Grand Jury Members

Article excerpt

One can only imagine the weight of responsibility now being felt by grand jurors in Ferguson, Missouri.

The case involving another white police officer shooting to death another black teenager is being watched around the world, especially by those dealing daily with racial issues and police-community relations. It's already led to nights of destructive protest, many protesters already assuming guilt for Officer Darren Wilson.

The parents of 18 year-old Michael Brown, who struggled with Officer Wilson before dying as a result of multiple gunshot wounds, have called for calm.

"Hurting others and destroying others is not the answer," Michael Brown Sr. says in a public service video. "No matter what the grand jury decides, I do not want my son's death to be in vain. I want it to lead to incredible change, positive change, change that makes the St. Louis region better for everyone."

Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, spoke to protesters Saturday night, urging people to be careful. "Don't agitate them, and don't let them agitate y'all," she said. "I don't want nobody getting hurt."

Preaching at the Greater St Mark Family Church Sunday, the Rev. Tommie Pierson urged the congregation to pull together as a community, Reuters reports. "The power to get what you need is already in our hands," he said. "You live in a democracy; you must participate."

Looking heavenward, Pierson said: "You alone know what the grand jury will do. You alone know what the marchers and demonstrators will do. We ask, oh God, for your protection."

US Attorney General Eric Holder has taken the lead among federal officials and agencies.

"History has ... shown us that the most successful and enduring movements for change are those that adhere to non-aggression and nonviolence," US Attorney General Eric Holder says in a video released by the Justice Department. …

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