While the entire country has been shocked and disheartened by the violence and tragedy that has occurred this past week in Ferguson, Mo., one elected official doesn’t mind sharing his opinion on the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.
When The New York Times broke the story this past weekend that a private autopsy found that Brown was shot at least six times, including twice in the head, many were truly outraged.
The autopsy, conducted by a former chief medical examiner in New York City, concluded that the last shot struck Brown on the top of the head, indicating that he was bent forward when the bullet entered his skull, the newspaper reported.
Violence erupted that night in Ferguson following news reports of the autopsy.
While more than 1,000 citizens marched in downtown Atlanta this week in memory of Brown, the Garden City has been fairly quiet regarding the shooting death of the Missouri teen.
But one Augustan’s comments on social media regarding the shooting caught many people’s attention.
“6 bullets in an 18 year olds body, 2 in the head: “He was doing his job”, #Ferguson #unbelievable #HandsUpDontShoot,” tweeted Mayor-Elect Hardie Davis on Monday, Aug. 18.
Whether you agree with Davis’ take on the shooting of Brown or not, it took guts for the mayor-elect to tweet the message.
Basically, Davis publicly took the stand that Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson should be charged with the murder of the unarmed 18-year-old.
National news outlets are reporting that a grand jury could begin hearing evidence this week to determine whether Wilson should be charged in Brown’s death.
The U.S. Justice Department is also conducting a separate civil rights investigation, which also could result in charges.
But Davis’ tweet is a bold move, particularly considering he will soon be the mayor of a city that has had a few troubles in the past regarding deputies shooting suspects.
Remember the shooting of 23-year-old Justin Leonard Elmore near the Cherry Tree Crossing housing complex in 2008?
Elmore was shot by deputies and later died from his injuries.
Now, the circumstances were completely different from Brown’s shooting in Missouri. The sheriff’s department stated Elmore was trying to drive his SUV over deputies who were attempting to stop him on suspected drug charges.
But for several nights Augusta’s Cherry Tree Crossing erupted in violence, with some citizens throwing rocks and bottles at deputies and setting dumpsters and cars on fire.
A few days later, about 200 people marched through Cherry Tree protesting police brutality. The marchers were led by gun-toting members of Augusta’s New Black Panthers Party.
It was a tense couple of days in the Garden City. Thankfully, it was nothing like the violence that has occurred in Ferguson.
In the end, a grand jury decided not to indict two Richmond County sheriff’s deputies involved in the shooting of Elmore.
Life for most Augustans returned to normal, but it was an incident that shook up our city.
Before Davis takes office, he should always remember, he will soon become the voice of all Augusta.
That’s a big responsibility and an enormous privilege.
Use it wisely.