Citizens protest the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, outside the city’s police department on August 30, 2014.
On August 9 Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African American man, was killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown, who was unarmed, was shot at least six times by Officer Darren Wilson, who has claimed he acted in self-defense after a scuffle broke out with Brown, whom he had stopped essentially for jaywalking. The shooting death provoked protests by Brown’s family, friends, and other concerned citizens in the St. Louis suburb who demanded justice. During the night of August 10, more than a dozen area businesses were vandalized and looted, and the police response became more aggressive. A history of discriminatory police practices by the white-dominated Ferguson police force fueled the crowds’ anger over the shooting of the black teenager.
The ongoing protests, which were mostly peaceful, centered on police headquarters. As tensions heightened, confrontations between police and protesters occurred, and rioting ensued. At one point, police detained journalists and forbade media helicopters from flying over the area. The civil unrest lasted for more than a week, attracting national—and global—attention. State troopers arrived to take over the situation from the local police, followed days later by the national guard, but the crisis continued.
The militarized police tactics used in Ferguson drew condemnation not just from the protesters there. People clearly believed their constitutional right to peacefully assemble was being violated. Moreover, the use of tear gas, rubber bullets, and other antiriot tactics by police against lawfully gathered citizens was widely seen as excessive force and thus unconstitutional.
Image credit: © Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images
- Timeline: Michael Brown Shooting in Ferguson, Mo.
This timeline covers unfolding events over the tense period that began with the shooting of African American teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri; includes photos and video.
(Source: USA Today, August 25, 2014)
- Dueling Narratives in Michael Brown Shooting
This article relates the conflicting versions of events surrounding the shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, MO.
(Source: CNN, August 20, 2014)
- Holder Announces Ferguson Probe, Review of St. Louis County Police Practices
This update to the story details the steps the Obama administration plans to take in investigating the recent events, as well as past police practices, in Ferguson, MO.
(Source: Washington Post, September 4, 2014)
- Here’s a List of Potentially Unconstitutional Things That Police in Ferguson Are Doing
This blog analyzes the various alleged violations of constitutional rights that took place in Ferguson, MO, as police responded to simultaneous protests and civil disturbances.
(Source: Washington Post, August 14, 2014)