Last Sunday, August 24, 2014, our attorney James R. Snell, Jr. was invited onto Cynthia Hardy's OnPoint! radio show, which is broadcasted in Columbia on The Big DM 101.3 FM. As a guest on the show, Attorney Snell discussed the ongoing situation in Ferguson, Missouri, which resulted after the shooting of young Michael Brown. When a police officer shot and killed the young boy, the event off-set a significant local reaction in the form of peaceful protests, riots and looting. The situation escalated to the level of warranting several statements from President Barack Obama.
On the radio show, Attorney Snell shared his opinion with the host and her listeners. His main points included:
- The unknowns are still too much at the moment for anyone, public or government, to understand the facts surrounding the shooting in full.
- Witness statements must always be "taken with a grain of salt", which means that the public should always keep in mind and weigh any possible biases or motivations to stretch the truth of what happened.
- Grand jury proceedings are usually kept confidential and the fact that there was a rush to refer the officer's actions to the federal authorities suggests an implicit political motivation.
- Simply put, justice is not immediate. When seeking justice, the public must remember that there is no such thing as instant gratification—especially when emotions are still running high, and understandably so, over the death of a young boy. Our legal system is not designed for immediate answers. Rather, it seeks the most comprehensive process to achieve the best possible results for the public, however long it takes.
During the closing comments, Mr. Snell urged the listeners and the public to reach those that are within their reach—namely, their own children. Helping children understand a true and clear picture of law enforcement, and instructing them on the wisest way to interact with law enforcement, can help to avoid misunderstandings and potentially tragic results.