Patricia Bynes, the Democratic Committeewoman of Ferguson Township, had one answer when GlobalGrind asked her what will help quiet the unrest in Ferguson that has occurred in response to the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown.
Arrest Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson.
Wilson, who shot Brown six times, including twice in his head, has been placed on paid administrative leave. But Bynes, who has stood side by side with protestors to ensure their safety in the week-long clashes, says arresting Wilson will not only provide some semblance of justice for residents, but is for Wilson’s own safety as well.
She also admits that while the majority of Ferguson residents have gathered in recent days to peacefully protest, there are some threads of individuals from Ferguson and surrounding cities that are agitating – instead of demonstrating.
“I have seen St. Louis County Police show a level of restraint that has surprised me,” Bynes said.
Protestors have kicked police cars, surrounded officers, and looted local stores, she added. In one incident, an officer was almost hit by a moving vehicle.
“I have seen some stuff that scared me…ever since that happened, the police won’t stand at the front line, they will pull out the trucks to protect themselves,” she said.
“So unless you understand that kind of history of what’s going on out there every single night that makes the police more agitated and the crowd more agitated, you just think ‘Oh this is increased militarization.’ But if you had seen that car coming to them at full speed? I thought they were going to shoot that man.”
Watch the video above to hear Bynes’ own experience on the front lines in Ferguson and her take on the historical police harassment she herself has witnessed over the years.