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Sat, 08.09.2014

Michael Brown is Killed by Police in Ferguson, MO.

Michael Brown

*The police shooting of Michael Brown occurred on this date in 2014. The shooting happened in Ferguson, Missouri, a northern suburb of St. Louis.

Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson police officer, killed Brown, an 18-year old black teenager, after Brown reportedly robbed a convenience store. An altercation ensued with Brown and Wilson struggling through the window of the police vehicle for control of Wilson's gun until it was fired. Brown then fled, with Wilson in pursuit of Brown. Wilson shot the unarmed teenager from more than 20 feet away as he held his hands in the air to surrender, in the entire altercation, Wilson fired a total of twelve bullets. The shooting resulted unrest in Ferguson and around the country. The "hands up" account was widely circulated within the black community immediately after the shooting and it contributed to the strong protests and outrage about the killing of the unarmed man. The U.S. Department of Justice concluded the "hands up" account was inaccurate months later. Believing accounts that Brown had his hands up in surrender when he was shot, protesters chanted, "Hands up, don't shoot."

Protests, both peaceful and violent, along with vandalism and looting, continued for more than a week in Ferguson; police established a nightly curfew. The response of area police agencies in dealing with the protests was strongly criticized by the media and politicians. There were concerns over insensitivity, tactics, and a militarized response. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon ordered local police organizations to cede much of their authority to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. A grand jury was called and given evidence from Robert McCulloch, the St. Louis County Prosecutor. On November 24, 2014, McCulloch announced the St. Louis County grand jury had decided not to indict Wilson.

On March 4, 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice reported the conclusion of its own investigation and cleared Wilson of civil rights violations in the shooting. It found forensic evidence supported the officer's account, that witnesses who corroborated the officer's account were credible, and that witnesses who had incriminated him were not credible, with some admitting they had not directly seen the events. The U.S. Department of Justice concluded Wilson shot Brown in self-defense.


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