Business Owners, Ferguson, Looting, Michael Brown, Michael Brown Shooting, Missouri, National Guard, News, Riots, Tear Gas -

Justice for Michael Brown means different things to different people

Business Owners, Ferguson, Looting, Michael Brown, Michael Brown Shooting, Missouri, National Guard, News, Riots, Tear Gas -

Justice for Michael Brown means different things to different people

FERGUSON, Missouri – Some members of the Ferguson community believe it’s a mix of both local residents and people from out of town “destroying their neighborhood.”

Several stores in the St. Louis suburb are boarded up because looters have destroyed doors and windows, in addition to stealing everything their hands could hold. It’s been more than a week since Ferguson teenager Michael Brown was shot and killed, following an alleged “altercation” with Darren Wilson.

“They’re not giving us what we want,” said Ferguson native Rodrick Dobbins of the local police. “Why should we give y’all peace?”

Dobbins says he is friends with some of the people who have been stealing from local businesses. He said he doesn’t believe there is anything wrong with the looting.

“We want our voice to be heard,” Dobbins said. “We are going to have it heard one way or another. Either we protest it out of y’all or we’re going to take the [expletive]. We’re going to [expletive] the city up. I understand y’all don’t like it, but we don’t like getting treated like we get treated.”

As looting went on for days, many of the peaceful protesters stood in front of buildings, blocking entrances from looters.

“As far as the people who don’t like the looting, the same people who saying, ‘No justice, no peace,’ y’all can’t get mad at us,” said Dobbins. “We are delivering on what y’all saying.”

While looting is the justice for Dobbins, it’s a financial gain for others.

“It’s like getting money for free,” John Mathews explains. “You steal something, you sell it. That’s basically getting money for free. “

Mathews lives in East Saint Louis and says the reason behind the looting varies.

“Some people don’t care for Michael Brown,” he said. “Yeah, we’re destroying the city, but we don’t care as long as our houses are still standing. We got clothes, we can go somewhere else to get us something to eat.”

While business owners are trying to figure out where to go from here, they aren’t the only ones facing hardship from the vandalism and closing up shop. Residents in the community are facing the harsh reality of limited resources.

“These stores are actually what we live off of,” said Jobel Williams. “We put taxes into these stores, and they build our community up.”

Williams is a lifelong Ferguson resident. He noted that the looters are both from out of town and his own neighbors.

“It actually is hurting the community,” he said. “I can’t even go shopping when I get paid. I can’t do what I need to do.”

Protesters say many of the looters who are from out of town don’t know that many of the businesses that have been broken into are African-American owned. They want them to know that everybody loses when this violence happens.

What some looters believe is a piece of justice is forcing many Ferguson entrepreneurs to start over.

“I want the young kids to learn something,” said Williams. “Not violence. The only thing they are learning right now is violence, and they love it. “

Dobbins reiterates that the behavior of some rioters is not an accident.

“With the looting, everybody knew what they were doing,” said Dobbins. “We understand. We knew what we were doing.”

Dobbins mentions that before all the attention on Ferguson, there was tension between many of the neighborhoods. Now, that tension has been directed against law enforcement in the community. Dobbins doesn’t believe looting from local residents or people from out of town is destroying Ferguson.

“No I don’t,” he said. “I think it’s pulling us together.”

In several interviews, Brown’s family has described “justice for their son” as the arrest of Officer Darren Wilson.

For others with their own motives, justice means something much different.

Follow Derrick Q. Lewis on Twitter @DerrickQLewis

The post Justice for Michael Brown means different things to different people appeared first on theGrio.


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