Students and staff react to Darren Wilson ruling

Claire Krugler, Author

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Following the recent decision to not hold a trial for the State of Missouri v. Darren Wilson case, Palo Alto High School students and the Palo Alto community are expressing their opinions on the issues presented by the case.

A grand jury announced its decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson yesterday. Wilson will not be charged for the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown that occurred on Aug. 9 of this year.

Paly United States Government teacher Steven Foug said the case emphasizes the issues of racism and inequality that the U.S. has and continues to experience.

“It’s tapping into a larger issue that seems to keep coming up again and again and again,” Foug said.  “There were issues about police violence in neighborhoods and inner cities 50 years ago that [people reacted] to, and then what happens is that broad statements or broad assumptions are put into place.”

Junior Gabi Rossner stated her disagreement with the grand jury’s announcement.

“I was disgusted and still am disgusted,” Rossner said. “I really do think that there should’ve been an indictment. The [facts are] that this was the 0.1 percent of the time that it [the indictment] didn’t go through with a mostly white jury in a black municipality and … that the person organizing the jury is a famous pro-police lawyer.”

Sophomore Edward Park echoed these sentiments, focusing on the ethnic makeup of the grand jury which was 75 percent white.

“Ferguson is actually predominately non-white,” Park said. “Juries should be based off of the population.”

Supporting the grand jury’s decision, junior Alfredo Gonzalez encourages Paly students to read the report presented by the jury on Monday.

“I think that they [Paly students] need to read the actual report and see why the jury had their verdict,” Gonzalez said. “That they weren’t racist, that the physical evidence and that … black witnesses also were on the side of the cop.”

In regards to how students in Palo Alto should react to the recent issue, junior Dami Bolarinwa says that students should talk to one another about the topic.

“I feel for everyone in Ferguson, and I hope things like this don’t happen,” Bolarinwa said. “Talk about it. The best way to deal with someone is to talk and get other people involved. It’s a democracy we live in, so we can ultimately change things. If we feel really strongly about it, we should talk to people and get people to rally up and voice our opinions.”

For more information on the recent peaceful protest that occurred this afternoon in front of Palo Alto’s City Hall, click here.

Staff writer Amy Leung also contributed to this story.