A Facebook group named “Police Officers” posted an image “commemorating” Michael Brown, the 18-year old black man who died at the hands of Officer Darren Wilson a year ago.
The image was that of Brown's gravestone, its epitaph replaced with the following limerick:
“There once was a thug named Brown
Who bum-rushed a cop with a frown
Six bullets later
He met his creator
Then his homies burnt down the town.”
The post received nearly 4,000 “likes” and 1,700 “shares” before it was taken down.
In response to complaints, the group’s administrator issued the following statement:
“Mike Brown chose his path, one that has lead [sic] this country into complete divisiveness. He’s not a martyr, he was a thug, who robbed a clerk then made the adult choice to fight a cop, of which he intended to murder.”
“At the end of the day, the person truly responsible for the killing of Mike Brown is Mike Brown himself.”
But such a statement ignores the fact that Brown was unarmed, that he was running away as the cop pursued him.
It ignores the fact that theft or resistance still does not justify fatal retribution.
And it ignores the fact that other black men and women have also died at the hands of police—and at disproportionate numbers—for far less.
A year after his death and Michael Brown is still not safe from assault.