Even after the grand jury verdict, the jury in my mind is still out. I'm still not sure exactly what I believe happened, except that a boy is dead and a police officer's career is over, outcomes that surely neither had foreseen when their paths crossed in the middle of that street that day.
But here's what I do feel sure about: that this is a tragic case of unintended consequences and that from now on all police officers should reach for their Tasers or pepper spray before their guns. Let the guns be the last line of defense, never the first.
Had police officer Darren Wilson used a Taser on Michael Brown during whatever it was that went on in his police car and moments later on the street, we almost certainly wouldn't know their names today. Wilson would still be doing his job and Michael Brown's case would have been adjudicated by our criminal justice system instead of by a bullet.
Among the protests, conversations, and dialogues there have been calls for major reforms within police departments across the country to crack down on police abuse and promote better and more just community and race relations.
Yes, by all means let there be a shake-up and improvement in police policies.
How about starting with the mandatory use of non-lethal weapons before guns?