A recent Community Voices pieces had some thought provoking ideas ("COMMUNITY VOICES: We all have a role in healing, rebuilding our country," June 15). However, the statement regarding the death of Michael Brown wasn’t accurate. The piece read, “Sadly, Floyd is not alone. In the summer of 2014, the nation witnessed the young unarmed Michael Brown gunned down by St. Louis police officers."
It’s ironic that these university professors didn’t know Brown’s death took place in Ferguson, Mo., not St. Louis; and that only one police officer was involved, not two or more as the word “officers” implies.
It was also misleading to say Brown was “gunned down"; he was not ambushed.
Saying he was “young and unarmed” downplays the fact that the 18 year old was 6 feet, 4 inches tall and weighed nearly 300 pounds. Police say Brown tried to take the much smaller officer’s gun but was unsuccessful.
Some witnesses say that Brown ran toward the officer, possibly in a threatening manner, when the officer shot him.
Floyd’s death appeared to be a deliberate act. Brown’s death came about because of his own bad behavior. The only similarity between the deaths of Floyd and Brown is the skin color of the people involved. It’s important to note that the officer was not indicted.
Brown’s death brought on protests. Crowds of people demanded justice. Like many other protests, it soon turned violent, with rioting, looting and many businesses being burned.
The professors put a positive spin on protests, citing some results from the past. They said protests in Ferguson "culminated in the election of the first black woman as mayor."
I wonder if the community of Ferguson, Mo., is better off now than it was before the demonstrations and riots? Have living conditions improved?
Finding answers to those questions might be an interesting research project for some of the political science students at Cal State Bakersfield.
Richard Nuckles, Bakersfield