Nearly one week ago, an unarmed teenager named Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer. The death of this teenager sparked outrage across the country. For days after the shooting, looting and rioting filled the streets of the St. Louis suburb. The QT gas station in the photograph below was looted and set on fire.
Michael Brown is the suspect of a robbery of almost fifty dollars worth of cigars. However, the officer, recently identified as Darren Wilson, did not know Brown was a suspect at the time of his death. According to Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson, the 28-year-old officer stopped Brown and his companion because they were walking down the middle of the street and blocking traffic.
The death of Michael Brown sparked outrage. Protesters yelled, “Hands Up; Don’t Shoot,” alluding to the idea that white officers often target innocent blacks. Recently in the news, a NYPD officer was accused of performing an illegal chock-hold on a black male, leading to his death. Other instances of white on black crime have been reported as well. Local police forces became increasingly present during the peaceful protests. Military style tanks arrived in the suburb and officers dressed in full gear pelted protestors with rubber bullets and tear gas.
Gov. Jay Nixon order the highway patrol to assume responsibility of handling security in the suburb to reduce the animosity between officers and protestors. There is a serious level of mistrust between the community, which is 75% African-American, and the local police, which is mainly made up of white officers.
After days of intense protests and rioting, things seemed to have calmed slightly, though there are still many instances of looting and rioting in the city as well as continued protests. The family of Michael Brown is devastated and looking for answers as to why their child was shot down in broad daylight for blocking the street. The local police department claims there was an altercation between Brown and the officer that led to the shooting. A video was also released showing what is said to be Michael Brown as he attacked and shoves a store-clerk after stealing a box of cigars hours before the shooting. Reports are still conflicting as we wait for a legitimate explanation of what happened.
Today, Gov. Nixon announced a curfew and declared a state of emergency in Ferguson. We’ll keep you updated.