Protests and riots have broken out in the St. Louis area in reaction to the murder of Mike Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old who was shot and killed by Ferguson police. Brown’s hands were raised in surrender when the unnamed police officer shot him up to eight times. The officer reportedly continued to fire shots even after Brown had fallen to the ground. The events leading up to the shooting are unclear, the police claiming a weapon struggle and witnesses adamantly declaring that young Mike Brown did not put up a physical fight.
Since the August 9 shooting, groups of mourners and protesters have gathered in Ferguson. The vigil held for Brown turned violent as angry protesters began vandalizing and looting businesses. Brown’s family is left wondering why police did not find other means of subduing their son, who was supposed to start college yesterday. All over the country, the reactions to what is unfolding in Ferguson have been strong, with many comparing photos of present-day Ferguson to 1963 Birmingham, Alabama.
All the developments in Ferguson since the shooting have been troubling, with police using tear gas and rubber bullets almost absentmindedly in crowds, the FAA turning the Ferguson airspace into a no-fly zone, and media restrictions being placed on the area. Many are boldly taking to social media to condemn the blatant infringement upon the rights of the people.
The St. Louis protesters, along with much of the rest of the nation, have recognized that the leniency police are awarded has gone too far. Many are pledging to continue to speak up until change happens. The death of Mike Brown, along with all the other instances of police brutality, demonstrates the lack of accountability police have for their actions.
You can contribute to the conversation by following the #Ferguson hashtag on Twitter and Facebook.