Charged with disturbing the peace for attempting to break through a police line to enter the Ferguson police station, West and others carefully planned this showing of “civil disobedience” to protest officer Darren Wilson’s lack of arrest and still being on paid leave in the wake of his killing of unarmed teen Michael Brown.
West recently sat down with The Sacramento Bee and explained his motive for going to Ferguson and how the arrest happened:
“We had gone down there to be arrested and bear witness and let young people know we loved them deeply. When it was clear they were not going to arrest us, four of us held hands and walked up to the police line and said, ‘We would like to talk to the chief about the situation.’ We said, ‘We’re going to step forward,’ then touched the police and that’s when the tussling began. The irony is, we go down there and get arrested for assaulting a police officer, but the officer who shot Mr. Brown has yet to be arrested. I got a big hole in the elbow of my suit, they handcuffed us from behind and put us in the paddy wagon. Then they gave us more comfortable steel handcuffs in front, put us in a cell and we were out in a matter of hours.”
West went on to tell of a touching yet shocking moment of honesty by one of the officers who admitted that the police were indeed at fault for the hostile situation:
“Each minister would go up to a policeman and ask them to repent for their department shattering the peace of Michael Brown’s family. One officer broke down and said, ‘We do have fault,’ a beautiful recognition of his own humanity. It was a very powerful moment. Police are human beings, too, and they’re working class. We had at least 35 direct, one-on-one dialogues for about 15 minutes each. I spoke to an older white brother, about 58. He began with a profound suspicion. I told him we are both children of God who loves each of us equally, but we have to get at the killing of these precious young kids. I said I’m sure we can agree there’s a profound difference between fair policing and arbitrary policing. He said, ‘Yes, I agree but sometimes these things are unavoidable; they happen no matter what.’ I said it can’t be viewed as unavoidable. There are lives being lost.”
Read more here: Sacbee
[Via: Rolling Out]