Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal, whose district includes Ferguson, doesn’t think there’s been enough of an attitude change with law enforcement since the Michael Brown, Jr. shooting.
Sunday marks the one-year anniversary of the shooting death of Brown by then-Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.
“Just last week one of my constituents was trampled on by a police officer and was arrested,” says Chappelle-Nadal. “There have been some instances since last year, where not only the Ferguson Police Department, but also St. Louis city and St. Louis County police officers have infringed upon the rights of individuals, including a fellow school board member in University City who was excessively tased.
“You can see the video where she was just playing on her phone on a sidewalk. You hear the voice of a police officer say ‘Grab anyone.’ So a police officer then grabs her and excessively tases her for two minutes straight. No, things have not changed,” says Chappelle-Nadal.
She says one positive change that’s happened since the shooting is that more Ferguson citizens are getting politically engaged in the community. Chappelle-Nadal says she’s grateful to Brown’s family for having a voice.
“If he and his family did not make the sacrifice of death, then we would still be the reality that we are living in would not be unveiled,” says Chappelle-Nadal.
She also says the Ferguson Commission created by Governor Jay Nixon was assembled for the wrong reasons.
“I do believe that while the Commissioners on the Ferguson Commission have every intent to do a good job, I think they were used as a tool to deflect the negative attention that the Governor had been getting. He never showed up physically to Ground Zero until the 15th day. He was on the outskirts of Ferguson, but he never went to Ground Zero. He was never among the people. Jesus was among the people, but our Governor is too good to be among the people,” said Chappelle-Nadal.
She says the Commission should’ve been a task force instead because as a commission, it has no judicial or legislative power.
Chappelle-Nadal and her Legislative staff plan to attend several of this weekend’s events in Ferguson marking the anniversary.