Fire in Ferguson!
The case revolving around the happenings in Ferguson, Missouri this year is arguably the biggest event of 2014. A young, un-armed African American teenager named Michael Brown was shot six times and killed by a white police officer (Darren Wilson) on August 9th. Brown had reportedly stolen a box of cigarettes from a local drug store when Wilson stopped him on the side of the road and shot him. Some witnesses report that brown had put his hands up and remained distant from the officer and others claim that Brown approached the car and then attacked the officer, making the officer shoot him. This occurrence sparked uproar in Missouri and on November 24th, a grand jury voted to not indict officer Wilson.
Overall, this event sparked a nationwide discussion on racism and appropriate police action. Consequently, the police chief of Ferguson, Thomas Jackson, is trying to increase the amount of African American police chiefs on the force in order to create diversity and bring in people that reflect the demographic in Ferguson. "I'm constantly trying to recruit African-Americans and other minorities," Jackson has said. "But it's an uphill battle. The minority makeup of this police department is not where I want it to be."
As for the public, the people are irate. There has been robberies, protests, vandalism and riots all protesting the police force. One women said, "I can't sleep at night," as she stood feet away from where Michael Brown was shot. In conclusion, the crisis in Ferguson has caused a national dissection of appropriate police force action and also a deeper look at racism in America.
5 reasons why its the event of the year:
-Protests occurred for months in Missouri and other states
-Caused a deeper look at racism in America and if this was an act of prejudice or if the police officer was actually in danger
-Begs the question of whether appropriate police action was taken
-Caused many people to live in fear of being hurt or shot by police officers
-Is authority abusing its power? Or if this occurrence was an accident, how do we prevent things like this from happening in the future?
Buchanon, Larry. "What Happened in Ferguson?" The New York Times. The New York Times, 12 Aug. 2014. Web. 10 Jan. 2015.
Nazaryan, Alexander. "Words and Images from Ferguson." Newsweek. N.p., 18 Aug. 2014. Web. 8 Jan. 2015.