Once again, the character of a dead unarmed teen is being questioned following recent revelations. Already this week, the right wing conservative website Drudge Report has been running a series of articles implying that Michael Brown was just another black thug. The comment sections from the readers already show a hateful and racist streak. With the recent release of security camera footage that police say shows Michael Brown stealing and assaulting a store clerk, the rhetoric has climbed to new heights.
What is becoming evident, however, is the fact that Brown shows all appearances of being caught between the streets and a degree. Brown was supposed to start college this past week and it could have possibly opened a new chapter in his life, but the world will never know. Instead, Brown chooses to steal “Swisher Sweets” from a QuickTrip gas station and walk down the middle of a street. Daryl P. Parks, an attorney for the Brown family, says that in the footage “it appears to be him,” which was devastating for the family to acknowledge. But Michael Brown did not lose his life that night for stealing cigars or for his past behavior. He lost his life because Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson decided to continue shooting a black man with his hands up.
Anthony Gray, who is part of the Brown family legal team, addressed part of these issues on Friday night. He spoke to protestors and warned them, “You may see images or depictions that don’t paint him in the most complimentary light. Don’t take the bait from anybody who is trying to character-assassinate Mike. Don’t take that and begin to riot, don’t take that and begin to loot. The family has made this clear.”