The Communications Workers of America has come out, and strongly, against the Grand Jury decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, saying justice had not just been denied, but that hope for rule of law had been "shredded."
In a statement issued Tuesday (Nov. 25), the union said that by deciding not to indict, the legal system "has failed the family of Mike Brown and the entire Ferguson community."
The grand jury concluded that there was not sufficient evidence to proceed to trial on any of several counts ranging from involuntary manslaughter to first-degree murder.
"The people of Ferguson deserved a full accounting of the tragic death of Michael Brown. Instead, the community's hope that the rule of law, that fairness, finally would prevail, has been shredded," said the CWA. "For too long, residents of Ferguson and too many other communities across our country have seen their civil rights violated, their communities disparaged and their call for justice ignored. Now, for the family of Michael Brown, there is no path to justice."
The CWA laid some of the blame on a justice system that did not sufficiently reflect the community. "In Ferguson, many residents of Ferguson are unable to vote. As a result, turnout is low and those elected to public office, including the offices of city council, mayor and police chief, do not reflect the community," the union said. "CWA members will continue to be active partners in the fight to restore real democracy, not only in Ferguson, but across the country.
Following the announcement of the grand jury decision, there was a mix of peaceful but angry protest and violent outbursts of looting, gunfire and arson, as well as demonstrations in various cities across the country including Washington D.C., New York and L.A.
CWA represents 700,000 workers, including in broadcasting, cable and new media, in private and public sector employment in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.