Protests and Policing in Ferguson, MO


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

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  1. Geordan Young says:

    I think that the police officer should be locked up and put away for along time for killing a unarmed person who was just walking down the street going to his grandmother house

  2. Todd says:

    The article fails to mention Michael Brown attempted take the officer’s weapon and bull rush him. It also does not mention he was a suspect in a strong arm robbery. While his death is a great tragedy, all the facts do need to come out before one decided the officer’s fate. It is disappointing to see the rioting.

  3. yosari says:

    i feel like this article doesn’t given the whole story

  4. Avery says:

    i think that the police should have not shot the teenager and just took him to a court house to see if he should go to jail or not

    • surpriser says:

      I agree with you I mean to shoot somebody once is one thing. But to shoot an unarmed person AT LEAST 6 TIMES is another situation

      • ted says:

        Have you seen the video of the teenager strong arm the store owner? It was going to take quite a bit of effort to stop this kid. Shoot once, that’s ok (not if it is in the head)?

  5. Kali says:

    I think that the article is a little bias against the police force, but on the other hand i think the police officer should not have killed him maybe shot him to slow down and arrest him

  6. lisett says:

    it feel like the article was somewhat biased becuase of the race and population was not fair becuase it was pointed to a certain races

  7. Anonymous says:

    I like the sign that says “Go kill ISIS and leave us alone.”

  8. Rob says:

    Looks like justice will prevail and this fine Police Officer will walk away !!!!!!

  9. Jim says:

    I think this a racis kind of thing and that the police should be sentenced for atleadt 1 year but somehow the police who shot him is going to walk a way even though he shot him 6 times also they don’t explain that the police had bruise marks and that he also had reported he was with him

    • Joe says:

      It wasnt really rascist because im sure if a white person did what Michael Brown did it probably would be the same outcome for the white person being shot. But, six times is clearly stating that the officer was probably very, very untrained or he went fire-crazy.

  10. H says:

    Did you people even watch the news, it was announced that he had not been shot 6 times, he tried o steal the gun, he had just robbed some place, he rushed at the officer, he reached to his waist as if he had a gun, and it was most likely considered racist, because it was announced as if it were, if they had said a police officer had shot a man most of this would not have happened. By the way it is sad that a young man had died that night, but he did not die because of the color of his skin.

  11. elizabeth says:

    I think that there are so many different stories that no one will ever know or agree on what actually happened.

  12. Hunter says:

    police are just tryibg to do theyre jon u think they want to kill someone they want to stay alive too to be with theyre families.can u imagine each day that tey have to worry about not coming back to theyre families.