Joshua Williams was 18 when he was arrested for stealing a bag of chips and lighting a QuikTrip trash can on fire in the aftermath of a protest sparked by the death of Antonio Martin near Ferguson, MO. It was December, 2014; Williams had already been in the streets for months already at that point, protesting the killing of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer. During that time, Williams became a well-known and well-liked activist in Ferguson. Williams eventually pleaded guilty to counts that included first-degree arson and second-degree burglary. Despite having no prior criminal record, he was given eight years, a sentence many have questioned, and his cause has since been taken up by many other community leaders in the area. He has now served five years. Later this month, he is up for parole… More here.
There is much more to this than just police violence. Think about the situation for a moment, racism is endemic in so many ways and most of us white folk practice it whether we know it or not.