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Rams' Michael Brown demonstrators deserve compassion not punishment

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St. Louis Rams made a statement on Sunday. They won 52-0 against the Oakland Raiders. But that's not the statement I'm referring to.

No. On Sunday, five Rams' players decided to raise their hands in the "hands up, don't shoot" pose that has become so widely publicized by the protesters of the Michael Brown ruling.

It's a shame that we are talking about what the Rams players did before the game and not during, but this conversation needs to be had.

No apology necessary 

Such an explosive gesture by the five players concerned was always going to get a strong and divided response. And it did so.

The St. Louis police department has urged the NFL to punish the players concerned while demanding that the Rams and the NFL make a very public apology.

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But this is where they have got it so wrong.

The Michael Brown case is not simple, and the "hands up, don't shoot" stance is a protest of the incident itself and not necessarily whether or not officer Darren Wilson should have been found guilty.

Yes, the majority of protesters indeed feel that officer Wilson should have been found guilty of murder for the killing of Michael Brown in August, but as Rams' player Jared Cook explained on Sunday, it's the incident in which an unarmed black man was shot six times before his dead body was made to lay in the street for four hours that strikes the biggest chord with every protester, including Cook himself.

Changes need to happen

"I just think there has to be a change," Cook told Fox after the Rams' 52-0 win. "There has to be a change that starts with the people that are most influential around the world.

"No matter what happened on that day, no matter how the whole situation went down, there has to be a change."

Whatever happened to free-speech? St. Louis police department are clicking their heels more like The Gestapo than a police department in the Land of the Free.

Dr. Michael M. Baden, a former New York City chief medical examiner, says "there is no forensic reason for doing that [leaving the body in the street for four hours].”

This is one of the biggest issues regarding the whole incident. Yes, there was a crush of people trying to protest the incident almost immediately and it was hard for police to go about standard practice, but there are surely ways that the gruesome scenes could have been avoided. As a result, no dignity was given to Mike Brown at all. 

"Local officials say that the image of Mr. Brown’s corpse in the open set the scene for what would become a combustible worldwide story of police tactics and race in America, and left some of the officials asking why," New York Times reported.

Just remember when you criticize the protesters, if anyone, black or white, does their research on this horrific incident and doesn't feel aggrieved in someway about the way the incident unfolded, then I'm sorry but there's something wrong with you.

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