If you haven’t yet heard about the grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri, you might not know that it’s one of the few times in history that the country is in a “state of emergency” for a state-level criminal investigation.
The FBI and Justice Department are conducting an investigation into whether there were any crimes committed during the 2016 election and whether there was any bias against Trump supporters during the investigation.
On Tuesday, the grand jurors began their work and will make recommendations on the final verdict.
For the moment, the media is still treating the case like a local story that will be solved in a few weeks.
The press, after all, is largely controlled by the White House and the media industry, and it’s up to the press to hold the government accountable.
But if the press is going to cover a state of emergency, it should do it in a way that acknowledges the power of the people.
A state of crisis, a state in crisis, can happen to any number of reasons, but the most common reason for a national state of national emergency is for domestic violence, as demonstrated by the riots in Baltimore in 2017 and the violence that erupted in Ferguson in August.
The media needs to stop treating the Ferguson case as a local issue that will resolve itself in weeks or months, and instead be focused on how it affects the lives of ordinary Americans.
That means not only addressing the concerns of ordinary people who were outraged at the shooting of Michael Brown and other unarmed Black men, but also addressing the problems that the state of Ferguson caused and the way that Ferguson and other local police departments handled the aftermath.
For example, the FBI has already opened an investigation, and a grand jury has been set up in the state.
And this week, it became clear that the governor of Missouri is looking into whether the grand juries decision was influenced by the FBI’s investigation into Brown’s death.
It’s a good idea for the media to keep its focus on the people of Ferguson, rather than on the investigation or the grand jurys decision.
The first step to making this work is acknowledging that the protests in Ferguson and nationwide are about something bigger than the grand-jury decision.
It was about the lack of accountability in the police department, and the fact that the grandjuries decision is an anomaly in this country and is the most egregious example of police abuse since the days of Jim Crow.
It is also a reminder that the system is rigged against the people who have the power to do the right thing.
We can’t continue to allow the press and the political class to use the protests to further their agenda.
But the media can’t be in the dark.
They can’t sit on their hands and let people who don’t share their agenda be the victims of police brutality.
They need to make their voices heard.
And if they’re not willing to be heard, then the people will have to.
This piece originally appeared on The Daily Signal.
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