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Ferguson: One Year After the Shooting of Michael Brown

Posted August 10th, 2015 at 1:05 pm (UTC-4)
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Video of shooting during protest marking the one year anniversary of Michael Brown’s death (AP):

To Improve Public Trust, Teach Police Interpersonal Skills

Perter J. McDermott – The Baltimore Sun

I had the greatest job in the world. A job that is necessary to establish justice, peace, order and a feeling of safety in our society; a job that requires constant professional interactions with people from all walks of life.

As of late, it is a profession criticized for lack of sensitivity, biases and lack of empathy; a job where people will flood the streets of New York City,Ferguson and Baltimore, shouting, “Kill the Police.” …

Sir Robert Peel, a two-time British prime minister in the early 1800s, is said to have developed the Nine Principles of Law Enforcement that many still view as relevant today. In these principles, Peel asserted that the ability of police to perform their duties is dependent on public approval of police existence, actions, behavior and the capacity of police to secure and maintain public respect…. Public favor is further enhanced, Peel writes, when police exercise courtesy, friendly good humor and individual sacrifice in preserving and protecting life….

I have received pushback when trying to convince police and officials that basic fundamental interpersonal skills training could be one of the major contributors to advancing public partnerships. I wonder, what is so inconvenient about implementing a course in interpersonal skills training?

A St. Louis County police officer talks to protesters at in Ferguson, Missouri on Aug. 8, 2015. (Reuters)

A St. Louis County police officer talks to protesters at in Ferguson, Missouri on Aug. 8, 2015. (Reuters)

“Oppressed People Are Everywhere”: A Year After Ferguson, a Conversation With One of the Protests’ Organizers

Brandon Ellington Patterson – Mother Jones

When Michael Brown was shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9, 2014, and the city made international headlines for the militarized response to the largely peaceful protests sparked by his death, Johnetta Elzie was was right on the front lines. Her live-streamed video of the demonstrations earned her a massive social media following, and she quickly assumed a role as one of the protests’ lead organizers.

MJ: Are you satisfied with the progress that’s been made in the past year?

JE: The police are still killing people. Six people died Wednesday. But I think it is so unfair that people expect leaps and bounds to happen in just 365 days. Nothing in the Civil Rights Movement was accomplished in a day. The Civil Rights Movement spanned 10 years. So, for people to expect so much out of one year is really, really wild to me…. But for some people, this is their life. They’ve been harmed by the police. They’ve seen their family and friends harmed by the police. And this is emotional work to be doing. So in this one year, I feel like we have accomplished much. But there is still a lot to do because police are still protected by their unions, by the institution of policing in general. And still have been killing people at higher rates than even last year, for example. July was literally the deadliest month of 2015.

A memorial in a sidewalk near where Michael Brown was shot and killed is pictured on Aug. 8, 2015 in Jennings, Mo.

A memorial in a sidewalk near where Michael Brown was shot and killed is pictured on Aug. 8, 2015 in Jennings, Mo.

Moving Forward from Ferguson, One Year Later

The Editorial Board – St. Louis Dispatch

One year ago, the 18-year-old African-American teenager lay dead in the middle of Canfield Drive for more than four hours after being shot to death by Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson, who is white. Mr. Brown was unarmed. Within hours, the protests that would forever change the American narrative about police brutality toward people of color would begin….

the full circumstances surrounding Mr. Brown’s death were, still are, and likely forever will be, a mystery. For all the details we know, for all the reams of grand jury evidence and testimony revealed, there is no video of him being shot in the back, like Walter Scott. Americans didn’t watch a police officer begin shooting at him before his car even came to a stop, as they did with Tamir Rice. A prosecutor didn’t charge the people responsible for his death with felonies, as happened with those who took Freddie Gray for the ride in a police van that killed him. Darren Wilson wasn’t wearing a body camera like the officer who shot Sam DuBose.

Get beyond the shouting, though, and there has been undeniable progress in a relatively short amount of time. According to an analysis by the Associated Press, 24 states have passed 40 measures in the past year changing the dynamic between police and the communities they protect.

From Paris to Ferguson

 Kira Banks – The Atlantic

I’m a professor of psychology at Saint Louis University….

The night the grand jury announced the non-indictment of Darren Wilson, I was near my home, in the midst of a multiracial, multigenerational, intersectional protest. I joined hundreds of others in the streets…. was gassed without warning, on the same street where I run for exercise and take my kids out to eat.

I am no different than anyone else who took to the streets. My experience being gassed was a keen reminder that I am vulnerable and no degrees or affiliations can save me from racism. I have long been familiar with this reality…

Police violence is disproportionately killing black people. Mike Brown could have been my husband and Tamir Rice my sons. I might have been Sandra Bland. These facts fuel my audacity to do what I can to assert that black lives matter.


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