The ‘Ferguson effect’?

‘Ferguson effect’? Savagely beaten cop didn’t draw gun for fear of media uproar, says Chicago police chief – As published on The Washington Post on Oct. 7, 2016.

An officer (not yet identified) in Chicago was brutally beaten after responding to a car crash Wednesday. The man involved in the car accident was high on PCP and hit the officer in the face and smashed her head against the pavement until she passed out. The officer was hospitalized and said that she feared for her life, but she was afraid to shoot him for fear of media backlash. The article describes this as the Ferguson Effect. Since the Mike Brown shooting, there has been a media focus on policing and race that has made some officers doubt themselves in the field.

This is an important story because it sheds light on the climate of this nation right now as it relates to policing and race. Police brutality has been a hot topic in recent years especially due to social media and an increase of recorded police shootings. Because these things do not happen in a vacuum, it affects police and people of color all over the nation. Police fear taking the wrong actions in the field and people of color fear they will be the victim of yet another police killing for being black or brown. This is a perspective that not many spend the time to think about. Police officer obviously have a job and while there are a few bad seeds, many of them are just trying to enforce the law. It certainly does not help when media exploits these situations even if they are done by the book. But this is the time that we live in.

This article was well-written and was easy to read. This is a human interest story that contains conflict. ferguson-effect

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PR Chronicles: Ferguson

 

Image Taken from stlpublicradio.org
Image Taken from stlpublicradio.org

I cannot be a PR scholar and simply not respond to the events that unfolded last night:

Black people all over the country have been protesting and rioting for months after Michael Brown was fatally shot by Officer Darren Wilson. The Black community wanted to see Wilson go to trial but instead there was a secretive grand jury decision made. More than that, the Black community not only wanted justice for Mike Brown, but they wanted justice for all Black lives. That decision yesterday made it clear that Black lives do not matter.

As I sat there watching the news, I wanted to curl up into a ball and cry. Law enforcement officers are supposed to serve and protect the PEOPLE, not themselves. Your life feels threatened because you have been raised to fear Black men? The news keeps showing the city of Ferguson burning but what about the faces of my Black people who are weeping in pain and disappointment?

Our nation is crumbling. Black people are not safe here. No one is safe here. While our President is fighting for immigration reform, he is virtually abandoning the Black community. When are people going to realize that Michael Brown is our symbol for justice and equality? If he could have received justice, that could have been one step forward for the entire Black community. More than that, Mike Brown is the symbol of our movement. And I vow that I will use all of the knowledge that I gain to advance my people and assist this campaign for justice and equality.