Demonstrators protest the killing of teenager Michael Brown outside Greater St. Marks Family Church while Browns family along with civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton and a capacity crowd of guests met inside to discuss the killing on August 12, 2014 in St Louis, Missouri. Brown was shot and killed by a police officer on Saturday in the nearby suburb of Ferguson. Ferguson has experienced two days of violent protests since the killing but, tonight the town remained mostly peaceful. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Let’s face it. At some point a police officer will be charged, and convicted, of killing a Black man. Just because someone wears a uniform or is acting in a police capacity does not mean they cannot be charged with homicide. However, until a police officer is convicted of killing a Black man, woman or child, unless and until that precedent is set, we, the people, can only conclude that police cannot be charged with killing a Black person, no matter what they do. And the police themselves, naturally, come to the same conclusion.

America has reached two historic milestones. The majority of the public school students in the nation this September are children of color, and the people have decided that the time has come, for a policeman to be charged, tried and convicted for killing a Black man. The two events are intimately connected. As the numbers of Black and Brown people continue to grow they, and people of goodwill of all races, are demanding that people of color receive “equal justice under the law.”

We had thought we were going to get that in the Trayvon Martin case. After that miscarriage of justice the American people were angry and upset. And so the president came out and said he empathized with the people. But he also made it clear that the Attorney General, whom he appoints and controls, would not be bringing civil rights violations against George Zimmerman, though he clearly had the power to do so.

And so now the people of Ferguson, the people of Missouri, and the people of the United States of America are firmly digging in their heels. Recall that it took marches and protests just to bring Zimmerman to trial. And so we are going through that exercise once more, but this time with much greater urgency. The authorities have chosen to meet peaceful protests with overwhelming, unjustifiable force. Likewise, some in the steadily growing throngs have also decided to break the law. But both actions are irrelevant to the matter at hand. Namely,  that it cannot be left to the secret deliberations of a faceless grand jury to decide whether or not the officer who killed Michael Brown is charged with homicide. All the evidence and witnesses must be brought before a court of law in the clear light of day in an open public trial.

Unless a police officer is tried, and convicted, of killing a Black man, woman or child, the police, apparently, have a license to kill. So the precedent must, and will, be set. However until that happens, the demonstrations and resulting upheavals will only intensify. Peace without justice is no peace at all, just a simmering, steadily increasing, barely suppressed anger and  rage. . .  ( Arthur Lewin, )