Turmoil in Ferguson

Posted by on Nov 25, 2014 in Current Events, Top Stories, United States

In August, btw provided an introduction to the shooting death of Michael Brown and tried to provide some historical context to violent protests in recent U.S. history.

Darren Wilson was the Ferguson police officer who encountered Michael Brown and Dorian Johnson in August 2014 while Wilson was on patrol. Brown and Wilson were walking along the middle of the road. Wilson slowed his vehicle to ask Brown and Johnson to move to the sidewalk. According to Wilson’s testimony, Brown reacted angrily and began an altercation that led to the shooting death of Brown.

Ever since Michael Brown died, the community of Ferguson, Missouri has been a place of anger, protests, violence, and damage. Michael Brown’s family has repeatedly asked for calm and for non-violent protests, but some of the people in the Ferguson area have taken this opportunity to gather media attention.

Unfortunately, along with the many peaceful protests that have been held in Ferguson over the last several weeks, much attention has also been placed on other individuals who have taken this same opportunity to act violently and damage property.

The Grand Jury Decision

On the evening of November 25, the grand jury assigned to evaluate the case of State of Missouri v. Darren Wilson publicly announced its decision. The grand jury examined evidence in the case and concluded that there was no need to proceed to a trail that would investigate the actions of Wilson and the details of Brown’s shooting death.

People all across the nation had been waiting for the grand jury’s decision. There was much speculation on how the people within Ferguson would respond to the latest event in this case. President Obama spoke to the nation on November 25, asking for calm.

Despite the president’s request and against the public wishes of the Brown family, violence again broke the night in Ferguson. Public stores were damaged, police cars were damaged, fires burned in the night, and national guard troops launched tear gas into the crowds of angry protestors and media personnel.

Bigger than Ferguson

The events in Ferguson have put a spotlight on the United StatesĀ  legal system. Critics of the system have used Brown’s death and the non-indictment of Officer Wilson to show that African Americans have a greater statistical chance of being arrested for crimes, that African Americans are more likely to be convicted of crimes, and that, according to recent statistics in Missouri, African American men in Ferguson are much more likely to be stopped and or searched by police than are Caucasian residents of Ferguson.

Dig Deeper This story will not come to a conclusion soon. And the issues that it raises are not easily resolved. Keep checking in on this story by searching news sites and news sources weekly. Ask your friends what they think and keep asking. Track the events of this story in a news journal to help you remember the details of this complicated set of circumstances.