It has been 17 years and 221 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

So much for hiring an Afro-American as an Interim City Manager along with his side kick as the Interim Police Chief. Andre Anderson, on leave from Glendale, Arizona is Ferguson’s Interim Police Chief. On August 9, 2015 as he was being interviewed by CNN shots rang out once again in Ferguson on the anniversary of Michael Brown’s death. Here is a link to the less than 30 second video: . As the gunfire erupts Anderson looks like a deer caught in the head lights while saying, “We’re explaining them their rights and we just want to be as patient as possible.”

As new violence hallmarked the anniversary St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar estimated that more than 40 rounds had been fired last night. An 18 year old man, Tyrone Harris, has been charged with assault on officers and remains in critical condition at a nearby hospital.

St. Louis County Supervisors have declared a state of emergency in Ferguson as the police prepare for the possibility of further violence tonight. In fairness, Anderson has only been in charge for a few weeks but it appears that his direction to his department in terms of community outreach is not working.

There were lessons to be learned from that awful period in Ferguson one year ago. One of those lessons should have been that appeasement of a mob does not work. The minute looting started it was time to clear the streets and to arrest the looters. Instead it seems as if police officers were directed to “track and observe.” Apparently Interim Chief Anderson failed to give direction to his officers that the minute laws were broken, arrests should be made and the streets cleared. Laws are created for everyone’s general welfare and safety and are meant to be obeyed. Yes, everyone has a right to peacefully protest but no one has the right to disobey the law. The minute the event got out of hand, the event should have ended. Sadly we witnessed an eruption of violence in Ferguson again. Is that to be Ferguson’s legacy?

© Joyce Clark, 2015


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