Michael Brown's shooting death fuels online petitions - Tucson News Now

Michael Brown's shooting death fuels online petitions

Various online petitions call for new legislation following the shooting death of Mike Brown. (Source: Facebook/MGN) Various online petitions call for new legislation following the shooting death of Mike Brown. (Source: Facebook/MGN)
Support is growing for Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson after the shooting death of Mike Brown. Wilson has not been charged or arrested for the shooting. (Source: John Wilson/Facebook/MGN Online) Support is growing for Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson after the shooting death of Mike Brown. Wilson has not been charged or arrested for the shooting. (Source: John Wilson/Facebook/MGN Online)

(RNN) – Petitions and calls for action have been made since the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown by Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson.

The petitions are related to the actions of police while attempting to arrest civilians.

On the White House's website We the People, more than 139,000 signatures have been collected for a proposed “Mike Brown Law,” that desires legislation “to require all state, county and local police to wear a camera” on their person. The White House must respond to the petition since it's reached its 100,000 signature goal. A similar petition is found on Change.org, and has collected more than 49,000 signatures.

Also found on Change.org is a petition that wants federal laws protecting citizens from unwarranted misconduct and violence from police. The petition cites several instances of unarmed victims of police action, including Eric Garner and Oscar Grant; Grant's death by a police officer while handcuffed and seated was the basis of the 2013 film Fruitvale Station. The petition has more than 212,000 signatures.

In a news release on Tuesday, the Ferguson, MO police department said it would attempt to raise money for vest and dash cameras for officers to use. 

The petitions seem to center around anger at the Missouri Revised Statute Chapter 563 Defense of Justice law. Under “Law enforcement officer's use of force in making an arrest,” a police officer is able to use “deadly force” and “need not retreat or desist” during an arrest attempt if the officer feels threatened or is resisted.

“In addition to the use of physical force authorized ... [the officer is] justified in the use of such physical force as he reasonably believes is immediately necessary to effect the arrest or to prevent the escape from custody,” the statute says.

The law has been used to defend police actions during arrests in Missouri, according to The Daily Beast.

A 2014 Wisconsin law passed by the state's legislature could influence future instances of police-involved shootings. Wisconsin Act 348 makes all officer-involved shootings subject to an independent review. It's the result of the 2004 shooting of Michael Bell Jr., who was pulled over by police in front of his Kenosha, WI home for suspected drunken driving and later shot by a police officer.

Wisconsin is currently the only state that has such a law.

But support for Wilson is also growing. A GoFundMe crowdsourcing effort for Wilson's legal fees has raised more than $148,000. Support for Wilson, who has not been charged or arrested for Brown's death, is also seen in the "I Support Officer Wilson" Facebook page and a TeeSpring fundraiser for "I Support Darren Wilson" T-shirts. 

A Michael Brown Memorial Fund is also on GoFundMe.com, and has raised more than $130,000. The proceeds for both fundraising efforts will go to the respective families.

Another petition, initiated by The Justice for Michael Brown Leadership Coalition, calls for the “immediate removal” of the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert P. McCulloch. The group, which has collected 70,000 signatures, says they have no faith that McCulloch will try the case fairly, due to his relationships with police and his past convictions. McCulloch has said he will not recuse himself from the case.

A grand jury began hearing testimony on the shooting on Wednesday, and could be presented with evidence through mid-October, according to CNN.

Follow me on Twitter @TanitaG_RNN.

Copyright 2014 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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