No Indictment in Ferguson: RI Reacts

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


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Community leaders in Rhode Island have begun to weigh in on the announcement that the grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri did not indict Officer Darren Wilson on any charges in the August 9 shooting death of Michael Brown.  

SLIDES: Rhode Islanders React to Ferguson BELOW

"My thoughts are that it's to the surprise of very few people from the African American community," said James Vincent, Executive Director of the NAACP Providence Branch, of Monday's announcement. "Most people thought there would be no way for an indictment with this prosecutor, who comes from a family of police officers, whose father was killed by a black person as a police officer.  For those reasons, the community urged for a special prosecutor given the history of this prosecutor, but that did not happen."

"As painful as this is for Ferguson, and a lot of people across the country, we need to let the process play out from tonight, as hard as it may be for people who are close to it," continued Vincent.  "I can under the anger, frustration, for people how have been disrespected and insulted in their own communities for years.  This is a slap in the face.

"I think there's going to be civil suits, I don't think people are doing to accept this.  But I'm hoping there will be calm and peace.  Colonel O'Donnell called me right after the decision, and I thank him for that," said Vincent. 


Related Slideshow: RI Reacts to Ferguson

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Pilar McCould

Providence NAACP Branch

"Although I understand the law, I cannot wrap my head around this decision. So am I to understand that Mike Vick who fought dogs.....illegal yes,  did do jail time, lost his position & had to prove himself in society once released from prison is a criminal but a law officer can shoot kill an unarmed young man & not be indicated on any charges????

We have come from the days of MLK.......or have we???? There are times I feel as though it's a modern day Jim Crowe.   And I somehow have to be able to explain this to students who I work with, parents who are angry & community residents who are outraged."

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Kobi Dennis

Project Night Vision

"My thoughts come from a local standpoint. The urban community for decades have not seen "Eye to Eye" with law enforcement. They don't understand our culture and we don't understand theirs... This situation and many others have been extremely difficult to navigate, especially from a civilian point of view. I agree with the masses concerning police brutality, racist officers and unjust arrests.

What I don't believe in has to do with continuing this unbalanced relationship. We need one another and the sooner community & law enforcement realize this, incidents such as the Mike Brown death will lesson. The community has extended an "Olive Branch" on many occasions and the responses from law enforcement and community are improving. We have plenty of work to do on this issue and several others concerning race relations but it takes hard work and dedication instead of millions of angry bloggers."

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Leah Williams Metts

NAACP Youth Council

"I believe that everyone had hope but in the back of our mind we knew what the verdict was going to be

We knew he would get off free for this its sad. I am very happy that they took a second look at the case. I think that that might have sent a huge message to police officers all over this country."

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Ray Watson

Mt. Hope Neighborhood Association

"Legally they have their reasons. But morally and righteously, is disgraceful. And it's systemic. Overwhelmingly Law Enforcement can shoot people, especially young Black males, with impunity. I'll be out tomorrow voicing my disgust with the situation. I hope others will join us as well."


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