Excessive Police Force: The Tragic Death of Michael Brown

michael brown

An unarmed, African-American, Michael Brown robs a convenience store, stealing cigars.  The unarmed Brown and his unarmed, African- American friend Dorian Johnson are walking down the middle of the street when white Police Officer Darren Wilson drove up and ordered them to move to the sidewalk. Brown and Wilson struggled through the window of the police vehicle until Wilson’s gun was fired, either intentionally or as a result of the struggle. Brown and Johnson then fled in different directions, with Wilson in pursuit of Brown. Wilson shot Brown six times, killing him. Witness reports differ as to whether and when Brown had his hands raised, and whether he was moving toward Wilson, when the final shots were fired.  Regardless, Michael Brown was an unarmed, African-American male.  Was it necessary to shoot him?  Was it necessary to kill him?  Could Police Office Darren Wilson have waited for backup?  Was there imminent danger and threat of life?  Could Police Office Darren Wilson have apprehended Michael Brown with the use of a taser instead of killing a young African-American male?  Does the United States have a problem with excessive use of deadly police force?  Does the United States have a more serious problem with racism than either President Obama and others are willing to admit?