MISSOURI, August 20, 2014– As we watch the unrest unfold in Ferguson, Missouri, which has been ongoing for almost 10 days now, regarding the death of a teenage boy, we might think we are watching a scene from the Middle East. We see journalists in combat gear, tear gas filling the air, and many people have come to conclusions before knowing the facts of the case, or letting it be decided before a court of law.
Tuesday night, in a statement to the press, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon expressed his sympathy for the family of Brown. In the same statement he also “a vigorous prosecution must now be pursued.” Many would see this as taking sides and pleading his case to the public who may be charged with deciding a case in a court of law without knowing the facts. While this may be politically savvy for Nixon, it is wrong and gives the impression that the young officer Darren Wilson is guilty before having the chance to defend his actions undermining our legal system.
“The democratically elected St. Louis County prosecutor and the attorney general of the United States each have a job to do,” Mr. Nixon said. “Their obligation to achieve justice in the shooting death of Michael Brown must be carried out thoroughly, promptly and correctly, and I call upon them to meet those expectations,” said Nixon.
Many may agree with Nixon’s statements on the surface. However, in his speech, Nixon completely undermines the rule of law. Details remain blurred at best. However, Nixon instigates that the “Brown family must receive justice”. By delivering this statement, Nixon has named himself judge, jury and executioner, and has all but ensured a fair trial will not ensue.