On August 9, according to the KSBY 8 St. Louis news station, an unarmed African American teenager named Michael Brown was shot by a caucasian policeman named Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. The otherwise quiet neighborhood was outraged by the way the police department tried to defend the policeman’s actions. The police said that Mike Brown had tried to attack Officer Wilson in his patrol car and took his gun.
“I can not make a decision on whether or not Officer Wilson made the right decisions,” said Deputy Nelson. “Not all the facts are out yet.”
But what eyewitnesses say follows a completely different story. USA Today reported that Dorian Johnson, a friend of Mike Brown who was with him during the shooting, said that he and Brown were walking when Darren’s police car pulled up to them and the officer said, “Get the %#@* on the sidewalk.” The two boys explained to Officer Wilson that they were minutes away from their destination.
Johnson continued, saying that Wilson then stopped his car and tried to open his door, but it ricocheted off of Brown’s body and closed. Wilson pulled Brown’s body through the open window by his neck, with Brown trying to get away. Then, Johnson witnessed the Officer shoot Brown while in the car but the boy got away and they started running.
Officer Wilson got out of his car and began to shoot at Brown, and that made Brown stop and surrender with his arms in the air. Johnson told KSBY 8 St. Louis that he heard shooting, and afterwards Brown’s body fell to the ground.The New York Times reported that six bullets were found in Brown, Four other eyewitnesses who didn’t know Mike Brown told a similar story. Piaget Crenshaw, an eyewitness who watched the scuffle from her balcony, said that she saw Brown and Johnson run away from the officer and then Brown surrendered and Wilson shot him.
“I think that the police are not above the law and that if he [Officer Wilson] followed protocol then he should be free,” said San Marcos United States history teacher, Mr. Ramirez.
After this incident witnesses say that the body was on the ground for over four hours in the sun and was then put in a police van, not an ambulance. After the police told the public that Brown was aggressive and violent towards Officer Wilson before the shooting, protesters started to assemble near and around the place where Mike Brown was shot as well as the police station.
After days of protests, police presence began to grow during the protests and it was beginning to aggravate the protesters because telling them to disperse or keep moving. They began marching around the area of the shooting and in Ferguson itself, inspiring a “Don’t Shoot” movement that people took part in all across the country. The peaceful protests continued demanding justice for Michael Brown and that Officer Wilson be fired and arrested for murder.
“I think that all police officers and police departments should be held accountable if they have done something wrong,” said Mr. Ramirez, “making sure that every police officer knows and follows the department’s code of conduct.”
After three days of protests and tensions, police began to throw tear gas at the crowds, MSNBC.com reported, provoking some to throw the tear gas back. Police kept shooting tear gas at the crowds, telling them they need to “disperse immediately” but the protesters kept chanting. The police cars and guns became SWAT team trucks and automatic assault weapons. As this was occurring, reporters began to track the unrest and recorded what was happening.
“I think they handled the unrest well,” said Deputy Nelson. “But problems were made worse by the protesters.”
According to CNN.com,the police began to force the reporters to leave areas where the protests were being held. A specific incident occurred when a team from Aljazeera America, a section of Aljazeera which is a Middle Eastern news agency, was reporting on the unrest. The police started to tear gas the reporters and camera crew, forcing the Aljazeera America team to run away. After the area was clear, police began to disassemble their equipment and point their cameras down at the ground. Another incident ensued when a Washington Post reporter was working with his partner in a McDonald’s and was forced out and arrested by police for “not following orders.”