Militarized Police Violence In Ferguson Highlighted The Violence Of War Itself

ferguson missouri protests
Zain Murdock
October 2, 2023

From machine guns and tear gas to batons and rubber bullets, the police response to Ferguson protesters in 2014 caused even more violence for a community already grieving Michael Brown - military-level violence. 

But similarities drawn between Ferguson and international sites of military violence, like Palestine, aren’t coincidental.

U.S. police, including Ferguson’s former police chief, trained with Israeli military officials to tackle “counter-terrorism.” What binds Afro-Palestinians and Black American protesters is that we are the “terrorists".

Our history holds resistance to the militarization of police and the U.S. military, too - because neither serves us.

Figures like Muhammad Ali, Coretta Scott King, the Black Panthers, Gwendolyn Patton, and Malcolm X have refused the draft, led anti-war protests, and advocated for victims of the U.S. military oceans away, including Black soldiers.

If Black people are considered a global enemy, neither the police nor the military intend to keep us safe. And though war offers some Black Americans employment and stability, it does so through $877 billion in military spending, environmental catastrophe, sexual violence, and the murder and displacement of marginalized people. 

From Vietnam to Libya, Ferguson deepened a pre-existing legacy of imperialism and racial violence.

Ferguson taught us that fighting anti-Black militarization will require more than convincing police to humanize us. It requires the liberation of war victims both here and all over the world.