NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

NECC students share opinions on Ferguson

By Emily Marsden

On Aug. 9, Officer Wilson shot and killed unarmed Michael Brown after a confrontation in a Ferguson street. The shooting triggered protests that went on for weeks. While often peaceful, some protests would turn violent, and police would respond by firing smoke canisters and using tear gas and rubber bullets.

Over 1,000 miles away, NECC students are forming their own opinions over the Ferguson case and the protests happening because of it.

“I think its sad that Michael Brown is dead, but I agree with the verdict,” said sophomore Barry Pietrantonio. “If Brown didn’t try to fight Officer Wilson, and struggle with him inside the vehicle, I’d be all for the indictment of Officer Wilson. But due to the evidence brought forward, along with multiple testimonies in Officers Wilsons favor, I believe Wilson did the right thing. No one should attack an officer of the law and not expect to be shot.”

“I think what’s happening in Ferguson is just people reacting to the accumulation of events in the past couple of years or so,” said sophomore Kevin Brito. “Its not just one thing. People are fed up and decided to take things into their own hands.”

“Trayvon Martin and Eric Gardner, both unarmed black men killed and there were no consequences,” Brito continues. “Now the same thing happened to Michael Brown, [an] unarmed black killed with no consequences.”

Some students are not so eager to share their opinion because the subject is so controversial. “I don’t have much to say besides that if the victim was white, none of this would have happened,” said sophomore Olivia Eleftherious.

While many students see the Ferguson case as a racial feud, Pietrantonio has a different opinion. “I disagree with the fact that this shooting was a white versus black scenario,” said Pietrantonio. “I don’t think race mattered in Officer Brown’s decision but I do think the black community is fed up with racism in the 21st century.”