They say that Edward Crawford, the man in the iconic Ferguson protest image throwing tear gas away from protesters, has been “found dead of self-inflicted gunshot wounds,” according to the headline in the St Louis Post-Dispatch.

I’ve been trying to step back from directly touching politics for a minute. It’s both hard to step back and it’s hard to address, since I’ve been deeply seized by anxiety lately, and it’s hard to focus on anything. But this really does shake me badly, and at a time when I’m already in rough shape, emotionally.

“Crawford’s death” - it’s hard not to note the passiveness of the headline. I know that this is how a lot of news is written. Suicide often seems to be described as passive, as if it’s just something that happens. That he’d shoot himself to death in his car seems suspicious from the get-go. He’s not the first Ferguson activist or protester to simply die in their car of a gunshot wound. How many people, when you hear that they’ve committed suicide - a difficult act under any circumstances - do so by firearm in their car? So we shake our heads and say, “No, that doesn’t seem right,” but we know that it’s already been ruled a suicide and we know how this will go, and we likewise know that whatever peace had been found in this community since the active protests died down a few years ago won’t last.

I’m deeply worried for my community, I’m worried for the black communities of Ferguson and St Louis, and I’m just so, so sick and depressed.


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