Police: Ferguson shootings unrelated to protest

9 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Hundreds Protest Outside Ferguson Police Department.

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) – Ferguson protesters displayed a roasted pig’s head during a demonstration marking the eve of the one-year anniversary of Michael Brown’s shooting death. One year after the shooting that cast greater scrutiny on how police interact with black communities, the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown Jr. in Ferguson, Mo., will be marked with a somber march and a moment of silence. The march late Sunday morning begins at the site where Brown, who was black and unarmed, was fatally shot by Ferguson officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9, 2014. The events of that day sparked riots in that city, and similar protests were held across America as demonstrators and commentators alike condemned white-on-black violence.

There were speeches over the need for racial harmony, that the US was divided as never before since the dark days of the 1960s equal-rights movements, and that largely white law enforcement officers were literally getting away with murder when it came to the shootings and killings of mostly unarmed black men. Department of Justice declined to prosecute Wilson, who resigned in November, but the shooting touched off a national “Black Lives Matter” movement. Michael Brown wasn’t the first black man to die in a police shooting, and as instance after instance proved otherwise in the past 12 months, he wasn’t the last.

The shooting and the violent protests that followed cast a light on the epidemic of police violence in black communities across America, catalyzing a national conversation on race. Despite all of the words of condemnation, if you’re black and living in America, you are ten times more likely to be pulled over in a traffic check than if you’re white.

Bynes was in the Canfield Apartment complex just hours after Mike Brown was shot and killed by Darren Wilson, and has spent the past year working on community building projects in the area. Brown said his family is still grieving, but he believes his son’s legacy can be seen in the increased awareness of police shootings, and renewed skepticism when officers describe their side of events leading up to those shootings. Some people who marched in the Saturday parade wore T-shirts with likenesses of Brown or messages such as “Please stop killing us” or “Hands up! To read things like that, I can only imagine what the family is thinking because for this guy to be so disillusioned to actually still want to work in law enforcement and to think he is worthy to carry a badge, you’ve got a couple of issues.

But in a separate report, the Justice Department cited racial bias and profiling in policing as well as a profit-driven municipal court system that often targeted black residents, who make up about two-thirds of Ferguson’s populace. Real issues were revealed over the course of the immediate aftermath of Mike Brown being killed, but that doesn’t mean they are insurmountable as long as people can come together. Her business was burned to the ground in November when violent protests gripped Ferguson in the wake of the Grand Jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson.

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