الأحد , يونيو 7 2020

Ferguson marks Michael Brown killing

Parade for Michael Brown, Ferguson, 8 August 2015

Michael Brown’s father (centre) took part in a parade in honour of his son on Saturday

The US town of Ferguson is marking the first anniversary of the killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.

On the eve of Sunday’s anniversary, several hundred marched through the town in his honour, led by his father.

The shooting of the 18-year-old by white police officer Darren Wilson sparked demonstrations across America.

Along with killings of unarmed black men elsewhere in the US, it also fuelled a national protest movement against racial bias by the police.

Activists and religious figures from across the country are among those who have gathered this weekend in Ferguson, a suburb of St Louis, Missouri.

Saturday’s rally was peaceful and heavily policed.

Some of those marching shouted: “Hands up, don’t shoot”, and “We do this for who? We do this for Mike Brown.”

Observing a silence

Mr Brown’s father, also called Michael, said: “Some families got justice through Michael Brown’s legacy, and that helped them. But I’m still trying to get through.”


A children’s band brought up the rear of Saturday’s parade

On Sunday, a march is planned from the site of the shooting to a local church.

Participants are expected to observe a 4.5 minute silence to reflect the approximately four-and-a-half hours that Mr Brown’s body lay in the street.

The protests, which sometimes involved violent clashes between demonstrators and police, continued in Ferguson for weeks after the killing.


Michael Brown’s killing sparked weeks of clashes

The protest movement gained fresh impetus in November, when a grand jury decided not to charge Mr Wilson.

How shooting sparked national protests

Mr Wilson, who argued that he was acting in self-defence, resigned from the police force in November.

In March, a justice department investigation found evidence of widespread racial bias in the Ferguson police department.

The report led to several high profile resignations, including the chief of police.

Racial bias in Ferguson

93%

of people arrested are African Americans, whereas only:

67%

of Ferguson population is black

  • 96% of people arrested for outstanding municipal warrants are African American

  • 95% of “Manner of walking in roadway” charges were against black people

  • 90% of documented force was against African Americans

  • 30% of searches of white suspects resulted in a contraband finding – compared with 24% of black suspects

The “Black Lives Matter” movement that emerged in the wake of Mr Brown’s death has focused attention on the troubled relationship between black communities and police forces in a number of US states.

Another police shooting of an unarmed black man took place on Friday.

College football player Christian Taylor, 19, was shot dead after police were called to a possible burglary at a car dealership in Arlington, Texas.

Officer Brad Miller, who had never before fired his weapon in the line of duty, has been placed on administrative leave.

Within a roughly 30-metre radius of Michael’s grave there are at least 15 homicide victims. The youngest was a 15-year-old. Most of them were shot. There are also deaths by suicide, cancer, car accidents, but for those under the age of 30, the predominant cause of death is homicide.

Buried beside Michael Brown

شاهد أيضاً

COPTIC SOLIDARITY LAUNCHES URGENT CALL TO END CRIME OF FORCED DISAPPEARANCE OF COPTIC WOMEN IN EGYPT

A Coptic woman, Ranya Abd al-Masih (“servant of Christ”), 39, disappeared in Egypt on April 22, 2020, …