Since Mayor Warren’s Nov. 24 statement regarding a St. Louis grand jury’s decision not to indict white police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed African-American teenager Michael Brown, community-wide debates have swelled with controversy.
Warren wrote, in part, on Facebook, “I know that many members of our community are upset about the decision today in Ferguson. I am too. As I was thinking about how to respond, I went back to how the situation started: With a young, unarmed black man and an authority figure who had little regard for this young man’s life.”
As a result, angry community members have begun circulating a petition on Change.org calling for her resignation.
Over 2,500 people have signed the petition, to date.
Nonetheless, Warren said she had no comment on the matter.
Her initial post garnered over 400 comments on Facebook, angering some members of the community, while prompting others to come to her defense in support of the comments.
Most notably, local slain Rochester Police Department Officer Daryl Pierson’s brother, Brett Pierson, had been critical of the post.
“You stand on the side of evil and everything that is wrong with the city you claim to love and want to make better,” he wrote. “To relate this to Trayvon Martin. WOW!! Or the animal that murdered my brother??? There is no difference.”
Warren responded by saying it was important for people to have meaningful dialogue regarding the situation, even if they respectfully disagree.
“(Brett Pierson), I stand by what I believe is right,” she stated. “My disdain for the person that killed your brother has not changed and I believe that he should stand trial and be judged by a jury of his peers. Unfortunately, in this case this person will never stand trial and people will never know the full facts about the case.”
Rochester, and cities across the country, have held several marches in response to the grand jury’s decision, and in protest of police brutality.