Unarmed, do you know your rights?

The Organization of Ebony Students (OES) hosted a discussion panel, “Unarmed” on Oct.6. The program was created in response of to the shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed African American who was killed by police office in Ferguson, Missouri, on Aug.9. The shooting prompted protests in Ferguson and started a discussion on race and the role of police in the community.


Participants names listed from right to left, taken by Michaella Neal

“This is a real problem that needs to be addressed and I really want people to understand, and get involved and see that this is important,” said programming chair for The Organization of Ebony Students (O.E.S.), Victoria Blount. “I have black brothers and friends and it could’ve be them.”


The participants in the panel were Ernie Hudson, the chief of WCU’s University Police, Dr. Adriel Hilton, the Program Director of College Student Personnel, Al Kopak, assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice, Steven Hardge, a junior and Sergeant of Arms of  O.E.S.,  Brandon Tigue, the Interim Director of Intercultural Affairs, and Trent Falls, publicity chair of  O.E.S.

Many students from many different backgrounds attended this event. Students were able to participate in active discussion with the panel as they discussed their rights and issues about Ferguson.

“My initial reaction to the Ferguson situation was that I wanted to know more,” said Hudson. Hudson explained because he is already in law enforcement that details make situations clearer. Hudson does not really have an opinion because there are so many conflicting stories it’s hard to form an opinion.

Kopak said that we should take serious action on forming a relationship with police and their individual communities. As he explained these are factors that produce the “disturbing” outcome of the death of many African American victims.

OES originally planned the discussion panel to be followed by an outdoor rally where the organization would display rally signs with, “Don’t Shoot,” or “Hands Up!” However, due to weather conditions the rally had to be cancelled.

For more information follow The Organization of Ebony Students on Twitter https://twitter.com/BBWCU