The Ferguson Riots are not just about the shooting of Mike Brown by Darren Wilson. Yes, that particular tragedy is the trigger. But it’s not the whole cause. There are two immediate causes; the first being the shooting of an unarmed black man by a cop, The second being the second. Hands Up, Don’t Shoot is not exactly a new thing. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air was making darkly funny jokes about it in the early 1990s. (At the time I, as a middle class WASP living in a country where we seldom armed our cops despite an ongoing terrorism campaign thought the joke was entirely on the overreaction to the presence of the cop; I wish that I’d been right rather than not yet even a teenager and growing up in a family where I’ve heard someone unironically claim “British Police are the best in the world“)
But the cause of the protests and riots were the Grand Jury, after being given all the evidence, proclaiming that there wasn’t a case against Darren Wilson. Something which sounds reasonable, after all, they were a Grand Jury and they were asked to look at all the evidence.