by Richard B. Muhammad, editor of The Final Call Newspaper
Reporting Live from #Ferguson, Mo.
The father of Mike Brown (@justice4bigmike) called for postponement of civil disobedience today to give the new state director of safety an opportunity to start work. Daniel Isom II became the new director of the Missouri Department of Public Safety, effective Sept.1. Atty. Anthony Gray made the announcement outside of the Ferguson, Mo., Police Dept. flanked by Michael Brown, Sr., whose unarmed 18-year-old son was shot and killed in early August by police officer Darren Wilson.
Instead of blocking highways today with a traffic slowdown, the father asked for 4 minutes and 30 seconds of silence in memory of the 4 hours and 30 minutes his son's body lay in the street.
Zaki Baruti and Anthony Shahid of the Justice for Michael Brown Leadership Coalition supported the father's decision. The announcement came after a meeting between the father, leaders and law enforcement, including Capt. Ron Johnson, who is responsible for security in Ferguson, under a state of emergency imposed by the state.
Baruti repeated calls for Wilson's firing and prosecution, and the resignation of the mayor and police chief of Ferguson, which is just outside St. Louis. The governor needs to remove the county prosecutor who cannot be depended on vigorously probe and act on the case, the leadership coalition has said.
In addition, the federal government needs to intervene and the racial profiling, harassment of Black drivers and money municipalities accrue through fines and tickets needs to be probed and audited, Baruti added.
A postponement only means something else is coming, he said.
Major civil disobedience is in the works if those in power do not act with justice, said Shahid, a street activist. Young people need jobs, a major hospital project controls billions that need to be shared, he said. This is just a postponement, not an end, he stressed.
Prior to his appointment by Gov. Jay Nixon, Dr. Isom served as the E. Desmond Lee Professor of Policing and the Community "for the nationally recognized Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, a position he took after retiring as chief of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department in January 2013," according to the governor's office.