The St. Louis Missouri suburb of Ferguson has turned into a center of emotion and turmoil after a police officer fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown on August 9th, an African American youth who was unarmed. The shooting death of Brown has caused an up roar in the suburban neighborhood where protesters are claiming police brutality.
The following are some news quotes about the on-going tension and protest over Michael Brown’s death:
Ferguson, Mo. is a working-class suburb with approximately 20,000 residents. When hundreds of neighbors and protestors gathered at the scene of the shooting, Louis Head, the youth’s stepfather was carrying a sign that read, “Ferguson police just executed my unarmed son.”
Speaking to reporters on August 18th, President Obama called for peace in the area saying “let’s seek to heal” as the Ferguson neighborhood still has active protesting and a state police presence trying to keep the calm. “We have all seen images of protesters and law enforcement in the streets. It’s clear that the vast majority of people are peacefully protesting. What’s also clear is that a small minority is not,” the president said.
St. Louis city councilman Antonio French said he wasn’t satisfied with the explanation given by the Ferguson police department regarding the shooting of the youth. French said, “It’s a textbook example of how not to handle the situation,” when referring to the response by police. “Ferguson has a white government and a white mayor, but a large black population. This situation has brought out whatever rifts were between that minority community and the Ferguson government,” French added.
Officials released the name of the police officer responsible for the shooting of Michael Brown on August 15th. Darren Wilson, 28, has been on the Ferguson police force for six years. The same day the officer’s name was released, police implicated Brown as a suspect in a robbery that occurred prior to his shooting. This infuriated the Brown family. “The prolonged release of the officer’s name and then the subsequent alleged information regarding a robbery is the reason why the family and the local community have such distrust for the local law enforcement agencies,” the Brown family said in a written statement.