(2013-08-11) Brown Killed By Ferguson Police

The shooting of Michael Brown occurred on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson Mo, a suburb of St. Louis. Brown, a young black man, was fatally shot by Darren Wilson, a white Police officer. The disputed circumstances of the shooting of an unarmed man and the resultant protests and civil disorder received considerable attention in the United States and abroad.

The day after the shooting, local and national leadership planned a vigil and other responses. On the evening of August 10, police tried to break up the crowd, and some protesters responded violently, looting various stores in the neighborhood, including a Quik Trip.

Protests and rioting lasted for over 2 weeks. As the details of the original shooting event emerged from investigators, police established curfews and deployed riot squads to maintain order... On August 13, while police were clearing a McDonald's restaurant, The Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery and The Huffington Post reporter Ryan Reilley were arrested... Al Jazeera America Journalist-s covering the protests in Ferguson on Wednesday night were also tear-gassed and shot at with rubber bullets by a police SWAT team. Along with peaceful protests, there was looting and violent unrest in the vicinity of the original shooting. Widespread media coverage examined the post-9/11 trend of police militarization (SWAT) when dealing with protests... The Justice Department will investigate Ferguson police force for possible misconduct or discrimination.

But a revealing vote this past June shows just how uphill the battle is to stop the trend of turning police into soldiers. On June 19, progressive House Democrat Alan Grayson (FL) offered an amendment to the defense appropriations bill that would block the “transfer” of “aircraft (including unmanned aerial vehicles), armored vehicles, grenade launchers, silencers, toxicological agents, launch vehicles, guided missiles, ballistic missiles” from the Department of Defense to state and local police forces. The amendment attracted the support of only 62 members, while 355 voted against it (14 didn’t vote). Included among those voting against it was Rep. William Lacy Clay (D), who represents Ferguson. Clay was joined by every senior member of the Democratic Party leadership team, including Reps. Nancy Pelosi (CA), Steny Hoyer (MD), and Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (SC).

Sept05: Rep. Hank Johnson has set his sights on reforming the Department of Defense’s 1033 Program, the mechanism through which local law enforcement agencies can request and obtain military surplus equipment.

  • Sept16: Hank Johnson and RaulLabrador’s bill, the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act has already received support from numerous legislators on both sides of the aisle.

Mar04'2015: Darren Wilson will not be charged by the Justice Department. Jonathan Capehart summarizes: What DOJ found made me ill. Wilson knew about the theft of the cigarillos from the convenience store and had a description of the suspects. Brown fought with the officer and tried to take his gun. And the popular hands-up storyline, which isn’t corroborated by ballistic and DNA evidence and multiple witness statements, was perpetuated by Witness 101. In fact, just about everything said to the media by Witness 101, whom we all know as Dorian Johnson, the friend with Brown that day, was not supported by the evidence and other witness statements.

  • But a wider report was severely critical of the entire system.

Mar11'2015: 3 officials, including the chief of police, have resigned since the Justice Department's report.

May15'2015: The Missouri legislature ended its session Friday night having passed virtually none of the reforms activists sought in the aftermath of the shooting of Michael Brown. Activists had been tracking more than 100 bills related to criminal justice and policing, but just one of substance had made its way out of the legislature, they say.

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