Less than a week after an outburst of rage in Ferguson following the non-indictment of Officer Darren Wilson in the death of unarmed 18 year old Michael Brown, President Obama has apparently felt the need to intervene. Though the Ferguson protest has made an infamous name over the country, it nevertheless comes from a place of both anger and desire, seeking a better system. This past week, the President invited the leaders of several protesting organizations to the White House to discuss the strong and seemingly unyielding movement of those who are demanding change in the legal system to prevent incidents such as these in the future.
The President invited several organization leaders to the White House for the meeting, hearing the voices of a wide range of people coming together for a common goal. Among those in attendance were:
- Ashley Yates of Millennial Activists United
- Phillip Agnew of Dream Defenders
- Jose Lopez of Make the Road New York
- James Hayes of the Ohio Students Association
- Rasheen Aldridge of Young Activists St. Louis
- Brittany Packnett, a St. Louis educator and activist
- and T-Dubb-O, a St. Louis hip-hop artist
Only they know the exact discussion that took place, but the President did recently propose a hefty three year spending plan of $263 million budgeted to increase police training as well as pay for approximately 50,000 lapel cameras to be worn by on-duty police officers. Though this covers only a fraction of the estimated 700,000 law enforcement officials in the United States (as of 2011), this is a substantial stride in the difficult task of mending a broken bond of trust between police officers and the citizens they’ve sworn to protect.
Despite some hostile backlash from supporters of former Officer Wilson, the President is working closely with the people of Ferguson to rebuild a community and to reform a broken system that led to the unfortunate events of this past August and the verdict of the Grand Jury this past week. Hopefully, change will come and bring with it a rekindled sense of security and trust, not only in Ferguson, but all across the country.