Various media outlets turned to Professor Donald F. Tibbs for his thoughts on the Missouri grand jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson, the police officer responsible for shooting unarmed black teen in Ferguson, Missouri on Aug. 9.
In a Nov. 25 Christian Science Monitor article, Tibbs suggested that although it is difficult to "second-guess a group of citizens who worked hard to find probable cause in this case," we can still examine how the decision not to indict magnifies a preexisting sentiment of "suspicion and mistrust [that] undermines the very legitimacy of our system of justice.”
Claiming that although the decision not to indict is a surprising and "remarkable outcome," Tibbs stressed that the rioting in Ferguson and protests elsewhere are not just a simple reaction to a failure to indict. The reactions instead reflect "a long-standing systemic problem related to race in America particularly as it pertains to policing black communities . . . and the way . . . young black men . . . are usually the victims of violence," Tibbs said in Nov. 25 appearance on Fox News. "People certainly have a right to be outraged and angered by this, we just don't want them to reflect and demonstrate their anger in that particular [violent] way," Tibbs said. Tibbs stressed that, like anything else, it will take time for the people of Ferguson to move forward.
Professor Tibbs is an expert on the overlapping issues of race, law, civil rights and criminal procedure.