Ferguson: What You Need to Know

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Outrage In Missouri Town After Police Shooting Of 18-Yr-Old Man
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by Isabella Reese

Today, the topic of racism, police militarization and brutality, as well as our own justice system are on the forefront of many American’s minds.

The problem discussed in recent weeks by many who have internet access is the murder of 18 year old black teenager Michael Brown on August 9th. While there is no definite description of exactly how Brown was killed, this was the information I was best able to gather.

August 9th, 2014
Ferguson, Missouri

11:51 a.m.

18 year old Michael Brown and 22 year old Dorian Johnson bought cigars worth approximately $49.88 from a convenience store. Because Brown reached across the counter to get the cigars, the clerk hit his hand. Brown pushed the clerk.

Johnson and Brown paid and went on their way. No 911 call was made.

12:01 p.m.

Brown and Johnson are walking and are blocking traffic in the middle of the street. Officer Darren Wilson pulled over in his patrol car to speak with them.

From here, unclear events unfold.

POLICE ACCOUNT:

Officer Wilson orders Brown and Johnson onto the sidewalk and was ignored. Wilson leaves his vehicle, and notices a box of cigars in Brown’s possession, though it is revealed by Police Chief that Wilson had no knowledge of the alleged robbery.

Brown physically attacks the officer, and attempts to take his gun.

During the altercation, the gun went off, striking Brown.

Johnson and Brown attempt to run away, and Officer Wilson chased after them.

Brown turned back to attack Officer Wilson, but Officer Wilson shoots Michael six times to protect himself.

Brown is fatally wounded and dies at the scene.

 

JOHNSON’S ACCOUNT:

Officer Wilson combatively orders Brown and Johnson onto the sidewalk. Brown and Johnson reply that they were close to their destination and would be off of the street shortly.

Officer Wilson advances his car, abruptly reverses, nearly hitting Brown and Johnson in the process, blocking the street. Officer Wilson opens his car door, hitting Brown and Johnson, and the door then bounces back onto Officer Wilson.

Officer Wilson physically attacks Brown by pulling him by the neck and pointing his gun at him. During the altercation, the gun went off and hit Brown.

Johnson, followed by Brown, flee the scene but are chased by Officer Wilson, who is shooting at them.

Brown is struck in the back by a bullet, though an independent autopsy later reveals that all shots came from the front of his body.

Brown turns toward Officer Wilson, puts his hands up, and gets to his knees. Brown is then shot several more times, for a total of six times, by Officer Wilson.

Brown dies at the scene.

AFTER 12:04 P.M.:

The police arrive to assess Brown’s body.

Brown’s body lies uncovered in the street for hours as residents of the neighborhood watch over.

August 10th

A candlelight vigil is held in Brown’s honor, which later turned violent.

A dozen or more businesses are vandalized and robbed. More than 30 people are arrested, and two police officers suffer injuries, according to Ferguson police.

August 11th

The Ferguson police and city leaders say that death threats in response to the fatal shooting have been received, and that the name of the police who shot and killed Brown will not be released until further notice.

Hundreds gather outside the Ferguson Police Department to demand justice for Brown’s death. A peaceful protest replaces the rioting and looting from the night before.

The protest later turned rowdy as tear gas and rubber and wooden bullets were used to control the crowd of protestors.

 

August 12th

School, which was supposed to start on August 14th for all Ferguson students, is cancelled with the safety of students who walk in mind. The first day is postponed until August 18th.

The FAA announced air restrictions over Ferguson to make room for law enforcement helicopters. Tensions rise and a stand-off between heavily armed police and peaceful protestors begin.

Later that day, the flight ban is lifted.

A preliminary autopsy report is released.

It is revealed that Brown had no criminal background by Ferguson Police.

August 13th

A daytime vigil is held in Brown’s honor, and volunteers gather to clean the city after a hectic and violent past few nights.

A nationwide moment of silence is held in various cities across the country in Brown’s honor.

City Alderman Antonio French is arrested after fleeing tear gas and seeking refuge in his vehicle. He and his staff members are later released.

Two reporters, Wesley Lowery of the Washington Post and Ryan Reilly of the Huffington Post, are detained from a local McDonald’s by heavily clad, unidentified police officers, while filing reports and recharging their devices. They are later released without an explanation.

An Al Jazeera news crew is gassed, and has their camera equipment dismantled by police.

Sixteen people are arrested for “unlawful assembly.”

August 14th

President Obama delivers an address calling for peace and condemning the arrest of journalists.

Governor Jay Nixon removes Ferguson police from duty and places the Missouri State Highway Patrol in charge.

African American Captain Ron Johnson leads the protests. “We are going to have a different approach and have the approach that we’re in this together,” he said.

For the first time in a week, no violent altercations are reported, and the night passes peacefully.

 

August 15th

The name of the officer who shot Brown is released. Officer Darren Wilson was revealed to have been in the force for six years prior, and had no disciplinary action against him. This announcement came three days after it was originally supposed to be released.

An attorney for Johnson says that he and Brown were in the convenience store, but took part in no robbery.

Following the accusations made against Brown and Johnson, violent riots flared up again and the parents of Brown issued a statement saying that they are “beyond outraged” at how this information has been released to “assassinate the character of [their] son.”

Chief Thomas Jackson says that Officer Wilson had no prior knowledge of the alleged robbery and was only stopping them for being in the middle of the street.

200 protestors clash with police and tear gas is used.

August 16th

Governor Nixon declares a state of emergency and puts into place a curfew between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m.

Seven people are arrested and one person is shot in spite of midnight curfew.

Protestors try and stop looters from entering stores.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder orders a federal autopsy for Brown.

August 17th

Private autopsy report performed by Dr. Michael Baden is released. It is revealed that Brown was definitely shot at least six times.

The National Guard is ordered by Gov. Nixon into Ferguson.

Protests continue in the evening during the second night with a curfew. Tear gas is thrown at protestors, and a Molotov cocktail is thrown at officers. It is suspected that the police used this as a tactic against protestors, as the cocktail was used with a Colt45 40 oz. bottle, but residents say that alcohol in 40 oz. bottles is not available in Missouri, and wonder how the police were able to seize something that should have shattered.

For the very first time, Amnesty International dispatched a team of observers onto US soil to gather testimonials on the activities of police and protestors.

However, this team is told to leave by the police because they are not a part of the media.

Gov. Nixon lifts curfew.

President Obama releases a statement regarding the death of Brown, saying that “Attorney General Eric Holder will be visiting Ferguson to meet with officials… and urged protestors to do so peacefully without looting and cautioning police against using excessive force.”

Getty Images photographer, Scott Olson, is arrested while reporting in Ferguson and was later released.

Ferguson Security Forces use armored vehicles to disperse protestor crowd, and 78 are arrested for refusing to disperse.

The rescheduled beginning of school for students is cancelled.

August 18th

With the State Highway Patrol, they and the National Guard have “limited responsibilities,” and were only there to help keep order during the late night protests.

Sabrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, publishes a letter in TIME magazine.

August 19th

31 people are arrested overnight, four officers are injured, two people are shot, and two fires were made during the late-night altercations between police officers and protestors.

Police kill 28 year old, Kajime Powell, in a suburb close to Ferguson because he “brandished knife” at officers after stealing two energy drinks and a package of muffins.

August 20th

During a less aggressive protest around midnight, 47 arrests were made and threats were made to kill officers.

A grand jury began investigating whether Officer Darren Wilson should be criminally charged for the death of Michael Brown.

Cop who cursed and pointed gun at protestors relieved of post indefinitely.

Eric Holder meets with Ferguson Community members. “I am the Attorney General of the United States, but I am also a black man,” he told members of the community.

New Yorker is beaten by New York Police Department during Mike Brown solidarity protest.

Protests are relatively peaceful and calm; only six arrests are made.

 

August 21st

Residents of Ferguson enjoy first night of complete calm since the death of Michael Brown on August 9th.

National Guard ordered to withdraw from Ferguson by Gov. Nixon

August 22nd-23rd

Calm with moderate to small sized groups of demonstrators chanting “No justice, no peace, no racist police.”

August 24th

Amount of media decreases significantly, and police begin to close in on protestors. However, no violence breaks out.

Sources:

http://metro.co.uk/2014/08/19/ferguson-protests-a-timeline-of-events-4838204/

http://seen.co/event/national-guard-deployed-in-ferguson-ferguson-mi-2014-5642/highlight/40153

http://blog.amnestyusa.org/us/tense-night-in-ferguson-update-from-the-amnesty-team/

http://www.ibtimes.com/timeline-ferguson-protests-after-mike-brown-shooting-1662748

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/16/ferguson-protesters-guard-stores_n_5684042.html

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/08/14/michael-brown-ferguson-missouri-timeline/14051827/

http://diaverik.tumblr.com/post/95253072150/whats-important-to-you-whats-important-here

http://edition.cnn.com/2014/08/14/us/missouri-teen-shooting/index.html

http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/pres-obama-makes-second-statement-on-michael-brown-killing_b235884

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