Today marks the one-year anniversary of Michael Brown’s fatal shooting. The teen’s highly-publicized death at the hands of former Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson reignited debates over race relations, police brutality, and the definition of excessive force. In fact, the circumstances surrounding Brown’s death have added fuel to the race relations fire, inciting protests and riots for the controversial deaths of others such as Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, and most recently, Sandra Bland, who died in police custody.
Now, as many Americans are still mourning Brown’s death, a recent Facebook post has sparked controversy yet again. According to Opposing Views, a memorial plaque was posted to a police officers’ Facebook fan page, but it wasn’t a commemorative gesture most would expect when reflecting on the teen’s untimely death. The mocking memorial included Michael Brown’s graduation photo and an offensive poem with a bias summarization of the series of events that led to his death.
Here is the text from the poem.
“There once was a thug named Brown,
Who bum-rushed a cop with a frown,
Six bullets later,
He met his creator,
Then his homies burnt down the town”
Almost immediately, thousands of Facebook users reacted to the post by either commenting or sharing the post. While some found the mocking memorial relatively comical, some supporters of the Facebook group admitted that post was highly “distasteful.” In fact, the Free Thought Project has also reported that there have even been police officers who have voiced their concerns over the controversial memorial. However, a group administrator posted a lengthy statement supporting the post by insisting Michael Brown suffered the consequences of his actions.
“Mike Brown chose his path, one that has lead this country into complete divisiveness. He’s not a martyr, he was a thug, who robbed a clerk and then made the adult choice to fight a cop, of which he intended to murder. Mike Brown and his cronies have been responsible for the perpetuation of a movement founded in thuggery and lies. At the end of the day, the person truly responsible for the killing of Mike Brown is Mike Brown himself.”
Facebook has now removed the original post, but screenshots of the plaque are still circulating on social media.
[Image via Facebook Screen Capture]