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Tag: michael brown

Missouri Governor Sends in National Guard to Ferguson After Violence Breaks out During Protests

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As violence erupted in Ferguson during protests overnight, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon deployed the National Guard in hopes of avoiding more looting and shootings, the USA Today reports.

The order comes after another clash between police and protesters.

Police reported dodging bullets and Molotov cocktails Sunday night and early Monday morning. No serious injuries were reported.

Nixon said the idea behind the National Guard is to “help restore peace and order and to protect the citizens of Ferguson.”

“Tonight, a day of hope, prayers, and peaceful protests was marred by the violent criminal acts of an organized and growing number of individuals, many from outside the community and state, whose actions are putting the residents and businesses of Ferguson at risk,” a statement from Nixon’s office said.

“These violent acts are a disservice to the family of Michael Brown and his memory, and to the people of this community who yearn for justice to be served, and to feel safe in their own homes.”

Justice Department Increases Involvement in Investigation of Shooting in Ferguson

Michael Brown

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A day after zealous police clashed with protesters and fired tear gas at demonstrators and the media, the Justice Department announced it’s increasing its involvement in the review of an officer who shot an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Mo., Time reports.

The efforts include sending advisers to meet with local law enforcement, government leaders and local faith leaders.

The Justice Department also is sending its head of the criminal section of the department’s civil rights division.

Holder suggested in a letter that local police may be escalating tensions.

“The law enforcement response to these demonstrations must seek to reduce tensions, not heighten them,” Holder said.

Michael Brown was killed Saturday by a police officer who witnesses say shot the young man while he was not posing a threat.

New York Times Editorial: Racial History Behind Protests Over Death of Michael Brown

Michael Brown

By New York Times
Editorial Board

The F.B.I. may be able to answer the many questions surrounding the death of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black student from Ferguson, Mo., who was a few days from heading off to college when he was shot by a police officer on Saturday. The shooting of Mr. Brown, who was unarmed, led to three days of protest, some of it violent, and several tense confrontations between residents of the St. Louis suburban town of 21,000 and the police.

But it doesn’t take a federal investigation to understand the history of racial segregation, economic inequality and overbearing law enforcement that produced so much of the tension now evident on the streets. St. Louis has long been one of the nation’s most segregated metropolitan areas, and there remains a high wall between black residents — who overwhelmingly have lower incomes — and the white power structure that dominates City Councils and police departments like the ones in Ferguson.

Until the late 1940s, blacks weren’t allowed to live in most suburban St. Louis County towns, kept out by restrictive covenants that the Supreme Court prohibited in 1948. As whites began to flee the city for the county in the 1950s and ’60s, they used exclusionary zoning tactics — including large, single-family lot requirements that prohibited apartment buildings — to prevent blacks from moving in. Within the city, poverty and unrest grew.

By the 1970s, many blacks started leaving the City of St. Louis as well. Colin Gordon, a professor at the University of Iowa who has carefully mapped the metropolitan area’s residential history, said black families were attracted to older, inner-ring suburbs like Ferguson in the northern part of the county because they were built before restrictive zoning tactics and, therefore, allowed apartments.

To read more click here.

FBI Opens Civil Rights Investigation of Fatal Shooting By Cops of Unarmed Teen

The FBI has launched a civil rights investigation to determine what prompted a police officer to shoot an unarmed blacked teenager in a St. Louis suburb on Saturday afternoon.

The New York Times reports the inquiry into Michael Brown’s death came on the third day of protests. Ferguson, a city of 21,000 residents, has a history of racial issues. Although black people make up a majority of the residents, the local government and police are predominately white.

When the all-white school board suspended a black superintendent, protests broke out.

“The community is still highly segregated,” said Karen Knodt, interim pastor of the Immanuel United Church of Christ, whose congregation has 800 members, only four of whom are black. “The institutions of power don’t yet reflect the changing demographics of the county.”

The city also has been under a Justice Department investigation following claims of racial disparities for juveniles in Family Court.