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On 9th August 2014 an unarmed 18 year old called Michael Brown was shot by a white police officer called Darren Wilson. This happened on West Florissant Avenue in the suburb of St Louis, Missouri leading toprotests. A grand jury made up of three blacks and nine white members did not indict the police officer. The ruling stirred up more protests whereby people demanded for the police officer to be brought under murder charges. The protestors viewed Mr. Brown’s death as police brutality and racism.The demonstrators were also asking for more action after a federal report was released alleging a great deal of racial bias with the policing of St Loius Missouri. Following this was the resignation and sacking of a number of officials as well as the US authorities vowing to make changes in the police force with dismantling being a possibility (Jackson).

Witnesses to the murder claim that they saw an altercation between the police officer and Mr. Brown whereby some of the witnesses say that they saw Brown punch Officer Wilson while Brown was partly in the vehicle. However one witness said that no part of Michael was inside the vehicle.

According to Darren Wilson’s testimony he said that he was only trying to block Mr. Brown who was with another man in the street with the police vehicle following a robbery and when he tried to open the door Mr. Brown slammed it shut. The officer however said that he pushed Michael back with the door after he managed to open it after which the teen hit him in the face. There was a struggle that followed with the teen insulting the officer while trying to grab the officer’s drawn gun. The officer said that during the struggle he fired several shots before the teen ran off. The officer said that he ordered the teen to get on the ground after Mr. Brown stopped running instead Brown advanced on him whereby he put his right hand under his shirt in his trousers’ waistband after which the police officer said that he fired the fatal shots.

When the debate of whether Michael Brown was surrendering to the police when he was shot the protestors had adopted the chant “Hands up, don’t shoot”. An indictment to be issued it needed nine votes out of the twelve randomly picked states of Missouri’s citizens. Darren Wilson was found to have broken no law by the U.S. Justice Department and grand jury. However when a different Justice Department report was released that showed the violation of the black citizens’ rights, Wilson left the force (Vaidyanathan).

On 20th August, for the first time in ten days the streets were finally quiet and on 21st of August The National Guard withdrew from the streets. On November 16th, marking 100 days since the death of Brown, a ‘die in’ was staged by protestors in St Louis and a number of protestors lay in chalk outlines that are painted on the road leading to theblocking of a busy intersection. On 12th March, there was a shooting of two police officers during a protest over how the white police force treats black people. The shootings took place in Missouriwhen the protest rally was dispersing outside the police station whereby one officer was shot in the face and the other on the shoulder (Sanchez & Lawler, 2016).

A state of emergency during the one year death anniversary of Brown was declared that provided the city with oversight security by the county police. It was declared after a shooting incident on a Sunday night that marked a one year anniversary of Michael Brown. The brunt of the rioting happened on West Florissant Avenue conducted by a number of dozens of protestors. An 18 year old black teenager called Tyrone Harris was critically wounded after police shot at him who claimed that the teen fired at them during the smashing of the windows of business within the commercial stretch. [“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]

A video of the incident was released that showed Harris getting a pistol from his pants. Harris was then charged with the following counts; one count of shooting at a vehicle and five counts of armed criminal action. His bond was set at $250,000. Some people claimed that Harris had no idea that he was firing at plainclothes police officers while his father said that his son did not have a gun.

The modern neoclassical thinkers argue that anyone deserves punishment if they are attracted to crime and opt to disobey the law. This is because the repercussions of the crime were known to them before committing the crime. The aim of the punishment is for the curtailing of future criminal behavior.
The concept of just deserts is mainly based on punishment and justice. A sentence can therefore be unjust or just if it is only as deserved or undeserved. A criminal should get what he or she deserves and not only cure him or her as if otherwise the criminal will have been removed from justice. The protestors believed that the police officer who shot Brown should be brought to justice and his indictment would be a good place to start for his punishment.[Click Essay Writer to order your essay]

The protestors aimed at ensuring that no such offenses to the blacks would happen again by the white officers therefore the application of specific and general deterrence. Specific deterrence is a criminal sentencing goal that seeks to hinder an engagement of the repeat of a particular offender that is why the protestors fought so hard for officer Wilson to be brought to justice for so that he may not be able to commit such an unjust crime again.

The general deterrence works in that it leads by example. It seeks to stop others from committing similar crimes as the one an offender is being sentenced for. The general deterrence stresses that for punishment to be effective it must be certain, severe and swift for better results which is to outweigh rewards of criminal activity. The whole reason for the riots was for the protestors to send a message that justice should be served for the death of Brown. The protesters were fed up with the increasing rate of shootings of black men by the white police officers all claiming that the blacks wanted to shoot at them. The protestors wanted quick action to be taken against Wilson for it to serve as an example to the racist police officers. The riots however continued when the report that showed the level of racism in the police forcewhereby they sought disbanding of the police force.[Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]

Capital punishments are mainly given to the minority groups including the Black Americans and to reduce the chances of capital punishments being based on a defendant’s race there was recommendation by the Washington-based constitution Project thatthere should be gathering of statistical data on the purpose of race in the works of the capital punishment system of a jurisdiction. It was also said that members of all races should be involved in the decision making process of every level of capital punishment. In Brown’s case, the grand jury was made of three blacks and nine whites. This was to bring more justice to the decision made on the case.

Jackson, L. (n.d.). Riot-torn Ferguson, Missouri to remain in state of emergency: officials| Reuters.

Sanchez, R., & Lawler, D. (2016, October 15). Ferguson: timeline of events since Michael Brown’s death. Telegraph.

Vaidyanathan, R. (n.d.). Ferguson riots: Ruling sparks night of violence – BBC News.

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By Hanna Robinson

Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.

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