HANDS UP // DONT SHOOT
On the way home from work I saw a street sign for Florissant Ave. I got off the highway and turned left. Eventually I found myself standing on the corner of the Quik Trip that was looted and burned to the ground causing a streak of events that find themselves on front pages across the country. I got out there pretty early, so there wasn't much of a crowd...yet.
I stood on the very ground as several others who raided, looted, and rioted for the death of Mike Brown. Now, I've been doing my best to remain a neutral party in this whole shindig, the reason being that every time I hear a fact or a piece of evidence, two days later something comes out that shatters all of the reasoning and logic for the previous statement. What I do know is this: A boy by the name of Mike Brown was gunned down by a St. Louis County Police Officer. Since his death an outraged community has banded together to riot, loot, burn a gas station down, and make national headlines. there are several pieces of information that fall in-between, but I'm not going to even get into it. Im sure you've all seen the articles radiating Facebook like its a contagious cough.
I did not go to the streets of Ferguson to join hands with the protestors, nor did I go there to scold them. I simply went for the proof. I have a tough time living in a world where the media becomes our view of real life, and I wanted to see the streets, the people, and the Quik Trip for myself. I walked the street and witnessed peaceful protestors, free bbq, and angry protestors. I stood on the very corner of a boarded up shop that I saw being looted and raided on the internet. I stepped on broken glass form a brick of anger that came from the hands of a greedy individual. I heard angry protestors scold me for being white, and out of place. As I walked the block, it started to sink in. I'm terrified of this place. I'm terrified of the people who act in such anger and are willing to destroy communities. I'm terrified of the Militarized police officers waiting down the street for outbreak so that they can come relinquish force upon citizens. I'm terrified of the national attention that this city is getting. I'm even more terrified to know that my house is 8 miles down the street from where all of this has been happening.
But at the same time I have a lot of love and appreciation for people who are able to act upon a feeling in which they feel so strongly about, its just very sad to me that people wasted their passion and feeling on their own community, and destroyed their neighborhood.
It was hard to photograph out there, as I was soaking it all in, but here's a few frames I got.