South MS residents react to Ferguson grand jury decision and riots

South MS residents react to Ferguson grand jury decision and riots

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The television images of violence and destruction are sparking strong emotions in South Mississippi. Some people shared their thoughts about the story that's the talk of the nation.

At Proline Barbershop in Biloxi, some customers said they're disappointed a grand jury in Missouri decided not to put a police officer on trial for the death of Michael Brown.

"I really don't believe that the grand jury decision was the correct one," said Karl Mitchell. "A lot of violence going on. The evidence should have come out a lot earlier. A decision should have been made a lot quicker." Mitchell said. "No one can speak for Michael Brown because Michael Brown cannot speak for himself. He's dead and gone. As a result, after looking at the Trayvon Martin case you have another black man who is dead, who can't represent himself. It's based on so called evidence and even with the evidence this should have went to trial."

Martin Washington was also disturbed by the grand jury's decision not to indict.

"I understand they were in a tough position, but that police officer shot that young man and killed that young man," Washington said. "Something needs to be done about it because it's not just happening in Ferguson. It's happening all over the United States."

Beth Green lives in Biloxi and grew up in Ferguson. She said it hurts seeing the turmoil in her hometown.

"It's really a shame because it's giving America a worse name," said Beth Green. "This is one country. We're all black. We're all white. We're Hispanic. Why the fussing? The man did his job, I think. I don't know."

Regardless of how they felt about the grand jury decision, everyone we spoke with said the violent aftermath doesn't make sense.

Iva Childers said, "I think it's just really sad especially in America. I just pray that everything will work out."

"Even if the police officer was guilty, why tear up so much property," asked Owen Green. "I mean that's disgraceful. That's a black eye for America."

Some peoples said while they understand the pain and anger of the community, the riots aren't helping to solve the issues behind that frustration.

"The reaction, I do not go along with. There's a lot of hurt. There's a lot of pain going on right now, but there's a lot of outside agitators. People who do not actually live there," said Mitchell. "With a lot of violence. A lot of burning. You're destroying your own community and everything else which means you have to spend more money to rebuild. So you're really not getting the results or the effect that you should."

Washington said he felt compassion for the people of Ferguson.

"That's a hard situation. I wouldn't want to be in that situation living in that town right now. Because I understand what some people may be feeling. They just feel like a white cop has shot a black young man. But you know the kid wasn't a boy scout. Let's be honest here. He was in the wrong place, doing something wrong or he wouldn't have been in that situation."

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