A friend felt her stomach turn; I got teary and had a terrible sense of disbelief. I listened closely as CNN interviewed the Mayor of Ferguson and police officials. I heard the news that the FBI was taking over the investigation into the shooting of an unarmed African-American teenager in North County on Saturday by a police officer.
Last night, while an angry crowd looted stores and fired shots in the air, demanding that the officer be named publicly and fired, I was attending a workshop with a woman who is traveling the country in search of grassroots led solutions to some of our country’s most pressing problems. What a wake up call. If ever a story warranted moderation and measured thinking, this is it. Sadly, it also reflects what a touchpoint race still is in this country.
What’s happening in Ferguson today, and what did or did not happen on Saturday, runs counter to everything this region wants to have happen for North County. Ferguson is a place that pulled together, black and white, to rebuild after tornadoes blew through there causing financial loss and physical destruction. It is that spirit that will carry them through this latest turn of events if people can stay calm. After all, we are all concerned with finding out the facts in the Michael Brown shooting. The message to the people of Ferguson is, “#WeCareFerguson.”
North County has been in the news a lot lately. It has seen school districts lose accreditation, manufacturing dry up and a loss of key retail. There is so much hope and energy going into reversing the fortunes of many North County municipalities that we need to make sure this situation doesn’t eclipse the good work going on there.
Let’s let the Department of Justice do its job now in uncovering the facts without anymore casualties or fanning the flames of this fire. We have a choice in how we respond.