What do you think about the Stockley Verdict?


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Image by Story Stitchers, c 2017

Today in the Storefront Studio, Stitchers discussed and reflected on the events yesterday and today…

What do you think about the Stockley Verdict?

Branden, 18 years-old —

I think that unfortunately, while this should be a catalyst for change, I believe that people will act on it for a month or so and then go back to their normal lives as if this never happened. And they will not rise again until another person is wrongfully killed and that officer is also let off the hook.

A few things need to happen. First, people of color need to understand that replacing White supremacy with Black supremacy makes you no better than your oppressor. Secondly, people of color have to understand that the first step to growth is unity and that until we are through destroying ourselves we will not be able to build. 

 

Taron, 20 years-old —

All I have to say is that our justice system is not right and we need to change starting with who we let into the House of Representatives to create our rights and our laws. After hearing the verdict, I was at work last night. I heard that it was about to go down. I heard a lot of violent talk, like “no justice, no peace” and that “we are going to burn the city down to get the justice we want.” I think we should gather up tonight and think about what we’re doing and what’s going on. We shouldn’t put ourselves and other in danger. 

 

Anna, artist —

I didn’t see a lot of coverage, but I was impressed by the African American cops in St. Louis coming out and calling out the injustices that are happening. I think that’s part of what’s been lacking. People need to be educated before they go out to a protest, about what to do, where the legal lines are, even just as a safety precaution. Violent protests only hurt the cause. 

 

Juwuan, 21 years-old — 

I heard on the street that the officer used one of the victim’s fingers to mark the gun after he shot the person. They said the officer still had his police gun in the holster. They said he shot the victim with this other gun and then planted it on him. I don’t know exactly…I heard it was recorded on a body cam or a cell phone. I didn’t see any TV coverage on it but I saw protesters downtown on TV and I saw Mike Brown’s mother on TV.

I didn’t think about going out to protest last night. I felt like it might get out of hand like it did before. I heard there was looting. I heard the protesters tipped a Metro bus on its side. I don’t know if there were people in it or not. Then the police took it. I saw on social media that people were wanting to loot. I stayed in and rehearsed for a play I am in. Stayed outta trouble.

I think you need a reason to go out to a protest. It should be a personal or political reason. Sometimes people just want to be there for someone, to offer support.

I heard this morning that they busted the Mayor’s windows out and they didn’t take anything. She was just saying that she didn’t have any intel of what the officers were gonna do, their orders. She said they were trying to keep things calm, without chemicals. It was the unknown. But then they had to use them.

It’s too depressing to find out all the details. 

 

Antonio, 16 years-old —

I feel like it was unfair and I also feel that the frustration should not go towards the judge but it should go towards everyone else because they voted for the laws that helped Stockley win the trial. The situation is due to the fact that people do not take voting seriously and if people were aware of the impact that voting could have on their lives and other people’s lives they world take it more seriously. The judge has no choice but to go by the letter of the law. Since Stockley abided by the law he was found not guilty. It’s the laws that need to change. The answer is for good people to educate themselves, get involved in legislating new laws, to change the current laws that allow things like this to occur, legally. Everyone must pay attention, educate themselves on the laws and take voting seriously.

 

Susan, artist — 

For me, peaceful protest is an important tool in producing and pushing for change. Instead of marching I focus on art production and helping the youth to find their voices in ways that might better serve them throughout their lives, such as public speaking, anger management,  writing and communicating in effective and powerful ways. 

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