We are now entering day 10 of protests in Ferguson, MO
, protesting the murder of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by local law enforcement officer Darren Wilson on August 9th.
On August 15th, the Ferguson PD revealed the name of the officer who shot Michael Brown as Darren Wilson
after much delay and demand, and released a surveillance video of someone they allege is Michael Brown involved in an altercation with a store clerk. The police initially claimed that this robbery to be the reason for the initial contact between police and Michael Brown. The Ferguson chief of police has since confirmed that Darren Wilson had no knowledge of the robbery
prior to approaching Michael Brown, and later amended his statement to say that Wilson stopped Brown for blocking traffic
. A lawyer representing the Ferguson market portrayed in the video has stated that the owner did not call the police
. This video was released alongside a 16-page incident report of the robbery, against the advisement of the Department of Justice
that it would incite further violence. The press conference also revealed that Darren Wilson had left the area 'days ago'
An initial autopsy
conducted of Michael Brown's body showed no sign of struggle, and six bullet wounds. Michael Brown's family has commissioned a second autopsy
, citing a desire for independence and objectivity from the Ferguson police, and the Department of Justice will be conducting a third autopsy
Amnesty International has sent in observers
, marking the first time the human rights organization has deployed a team in the United States. The Washington Post has a good summary of how the rest of the world
sees the crisis in Ferguson (thanks to naju
for that link).
Part of the excessive militarization of the police is being attributed to military supply donations
to the local police, which must be used within a year or else forfeit
. "When more police departments get SWAT teams, they conduct more SWAT raids.
John Oliver has delivered a scathing take
on the situation in Ferguson on his HBO show, Last Week Tonight. (Fanfare thread
Governor Jay Nixon declared Ferguson an emergency state
on Sunday, August 17th, and called for a curfew of 12 AM - 5 AM. However, police crackdown on Sunday began well before curfew
, firing off tear gas and blaring LRAD at the protestors. (Tear gas, incidentally, is banned in international warfare
under the Geneva convention.)
Barack Obama met with the Attorney General Eric Holder to discuss the situation, and gave a televised address
to the nation on August 18th, confirming that Holder will be traveling to Missouri. Ezra Klein makes an argument for why a strong show of passion from the President would only make things worse
. The FBI is now canvassing the neighbourhood
, and the National Guard was deployed to Ferguson
, but have largely been employed guarding the "command center
" rather than engaging with protestors.
There has been an official petition on WhiteHouse.Gov to enact a Mike Brown
law, requiring all state, county, and local police to wear a camera at all times. The petition has over 119K signatures so far, which means it will receive an official response from the white house. A similar law has seen great effectiveness in reducing police brutality in other parts of the country
Meanwhile, protests have continued nightly, with escalating tension and use of force. Police have become increasingly hostile
towards the media and even Amnesty International
. Several journalists have been detained and subsequently released
, including Getty photographer Scott Olson, who has been steadfastly documenting the events in Ferguson