Statement by NNPA President, Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. on Grand Jury Decision in Ferguson, MO about the Killing of Michael Brown
Today’s announcement that the Grand Jury decided not to indict Ferguson, MO Police Officer Darren Wilson who killed unarmed 18 year-old Michael Brown in August 2014 is yet another systematic and tragic slap in the face of equal justice in the United States. On behalf of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), today our prayers and solidarity are first resolutely with the parents and family of young Michael Brown as well as concern for everyone in the Black American community and all people of good will in St. Louis County, Missouri. I have personally spoken directly to two of our NNPA member publishers who publish in the St. Louis area: Donald M. Suggs of the St. Louis American and Michael C. Williams of the St. Louis Metro Sentinel. We discussed the tense situation in Ferguson. We are the “Voice of the Black Community” and the NNPA will not be silent or rest until there is justice in the Michael Brown case and other cases of racially-motivated police killings and violence in our communities across the nation.
As the nation drinks in the strikingly contrasting images of armored police in riot gear standing underneath a hoisted signage of “Seasons Greetings” in Ferguson, Mo., many thousands of demonstrators have spilled into the main arteries of cities across the country.
The protesters are responding the the St. Louis County grand jury’s decision to completely exonerate Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot and killed unarmed black teen Michael Brown in the St. Louis suburb on Aug. 9.
Rioting and looting have accompanied the peaceful demonstrations in Ferguson and in major metro areas such as New York, Chicago, Oakland, Seattle and other cities. Take a look: