2014 August 9

Unarmed Michael Brown Shot and Killed by Ferguson, Missouri, Police Officer: Nationwide Protests Follow


Michale Brown, an unarmed African-America, was shot and killed on this day by Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson. Massive protests over the shooting erupted in Ferguson, supported by sympathy protests across the country. Additional protests broke out when the local grand jury acquitted Wilson of murder charges.

The fatal shooting of Michael Brown brought on a federal investigation of the Ferguson police department by the Special Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department. Its report, issued on March 4, 2015, found City of Ferguson used the police department to generate funds to support the city government, primarily through traffic tickets and fines for failure to appear in court.

A report by the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division, released on the same day, did not find cause to indict officer Wilson on criminal charges for shooting Mr. Brown.

In response to the shooting of Michael Brown, and the protests and disorders that followed, President Barack Obama established the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. The Task Force issued its interim report on March 4, 2015.

Don’t miss: Wesley Lowery, “They Can’t Kill Us All:” Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement (2016)

Read the definitive new book on police shootings: Franklin Zimring, When Police Kill (2017)

Read: Samuel Walker and Carol Archbold, The New World of Police Accountability, 2nd ed. (2014)

Read the President’s Task Force report: http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/pdf/taskforce/taskforce_finalreport.pdf

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