What happened on the streets of the Canfield-Green Apartments in Ferguson or during a recent car stop in Independence has been the product of much debate.
And rightfully so.
In an age where we can find out the population of Greenland in 1944 or the latest Iggy Azalea video with JLo with just the push of a few buttons, it somehow vexes us that we don’t know exactly what happened, blow by blow, second by second, with the events in Ferguson or the car-stop turned Taser incident in Independence.
I am wondering why the hell we feel so entitled to know these things immediately?
While the truth is an ever-unfolding process, what happened between Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson and Michael Brown truly should not be a topic of ongoing debate. Just because we don’t know every moment of that encounter doesn’t make the event itself any less truthful or real. And it doesn’t lessen the gravity of either event, or any police encounter that comes into question, when we don’t have instant access to every moment of it.
Instant gratification has obviously spoiled us beyond recognition.
And caught up in our irrational need to know immediately and our rush to judgment, frankly, the truth. As well as the lives that we are putting under the microscope.
I will defend the media all day, it seems. I always tell people news is news. We don’t get to decide what is news and what is not. Sometimes there is bad news. Somethings people kill other people, houses catch on fire and elderly are scammed out of their life savings.
The media, in all its forms, still largely distributes information in a responsible way. Yes, outlets strive to be first. But there is always an eye on being accurate. The media may be seen as dangerous to some. But the flood of speculation that follows is far more threatening.
With every acknowledgement that I am a part of the media, and having done a little coverage in Ferguson and of police activity for many years in Independence, I can speak with a little knowledge on the subject.
First, the car stop where Tim Runnels, an Independence officer, found himself in a situation where he deployed a Taser to Bryce Masters.
Short of all of standing right there when it happened, this immediate call to investigate the police is as asinine as condemning Masters.
And that logic goes in Ferguson, too.
Asking for an immediate trial of Wilson for the Brown shooting makes no sense. It may satisfy some in the short term, but it as irresponsible as calling Brown a “thug.”
I think much of this comes down to one simple thing: we are all highly impatient. We want and expect answers.
The phones and the web have increased that anxiety on all of us.
The truth is out there. We can surely set out to seek it. Patiently.
It is just as brave to be cautious and controlled, willing to let the facts unfold before rushing to judgment.