Why Did Michael Brown Die in Ferguson?
- According to the police of Fergusson, Missouri it was because he reached for an officer's weapon, necessitating that he be shot multiple times as he ran away empty handed. Eyewitness tell a different story
. Whatever happened the killing has prompted demonstrations and looting. Ferguson police responded in full force, firing teargas
and wooden rounds
into crowds of protestors and sealing the area off from the media
. In the wake of the tragedy questions of racial profiling
, the paramilitarization of police
and media depictions of black shooting victims
have been raised. Meanwhile the shooter has not been named to preserve his safety
The Chicago Reader's current cover story, "The Color of His Skin," (parts 1
,) revisits the murder of a black man on Chicago's South Side in 1970 by a gang of white teens. Last September, a similar article by the same author, "The Price of Intolerance," (parts 1
,) examined an incident from 1971, in which a twelve year old boy and thirteen year old girl were killed.
Eighteen years after the death of Stephen Lawrence
, Gary Dobson and David Norris
have been found guilty of his murder. [more inside]
This week has seen a lot of discussion of the American criminal justice system and its failings, and a lot of concern about what can be done to fix it.
In 1947, a working class black man looked like he was about to have the full weight of the system brought down on him for taking justice into his own hands. But after Chicago leftists - including labor unions, religious leaders, artists, civil rights activists & others - launched a movement, James Hickman was set free
after an all-white jury, in a trial presided over by a white judge, failed to convict, and the DA chose not to re-try because of the magnitude of public support for Hickman.
According to a review
in The Nation, a new book
tells the story in a way that turns the typical right-wing biases of the true crime genre on their head. [more inside]
"I couldn't let these Klansmen get away with murder..." Investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell has started a blog
focusing on cold case murders
of civil rights workers. In this Moth Podcast
, Mitchell discusses some of his investigations, the death threats he received, and the stunning redemption and forgiveness he witnessed. For his work Mitchell
was recently awarded
a MacArthur "Genius
" grant. [more inside]
"Approximately 250,000 persons viewed and passed by the bier of little Emmett Till. All were shocked, some horrified and appalled. Many prayed, scores fainted and practically all, men, women and children wept". Chicago Defender, September 1, 1955.
Federal officials this morning erected a white tent over the grave of Emmett Till
, Ill., in preparation to exhume the body
to shed light on the Chicago teenager's death
50 years ago.
Till, 14 years old at the time, was killed in a hate crime
in Money, Miss., that sparked the Civil Rights movement
. (previous Emmett Till MeFi threads here