The Rundown: Shooting Death In Ferguson Puts Community In National Spotlight
We know that you listen to us on air and check our website for news and information about our region. We hope that you look at our website every day, but we know that's not always possible. So, once a week, on Friday, we will highlight some of the website's top stories of the week.
This week, our attention was focused on Ferguson, a story that has reverberated literally across the world. It has been a fast-moving, fast-breaking story -- with rallies, protests, community events dominating the coverage. In our rundown, we are focusing on those stories that offer perspective and context to the events of the week.
Since Saturday’s fatal shooting of Michael Brown, St. Louisans have been trying to understand and deal with what happened. How could a college-bound teenager with no history of violence or criminal behavior end up shot to death by a police officer in his own neighborhood? We went to look for answers and to find out what people in Ferguson are doing to cope.
When Antonio French noticed social media activity bubbling up about Michael Brown’s shooting death last weekend, the St. Louis alderman got in his car and drove to Ferguson. Since then, with his constant Tweets and updates, he has become the most visible political figure on the scene -- and not everyone is happy about it.
Two-thirds of Ferguson’s residents are black, but only three African Americans are on the city’s 53-member police force. The city council is also predominantly white, as is the mayor. Ferguson police chief Thomas Jackson said he has worked to promote black officers to higher ranks. And while he said diversifying the Ferguson Police Department has been a focus, the department has fallen short of the mark.
Law enforcement officials say the inquiry into Michael Brown’s shooting is complex — and won’t be resolved quickly. Once the investigation is done, it will be up to state and federal prosecutors to decide whether to indict the officer — whose identity has not been revealed. And at least one law expert said convicting the officer on federal charges could be very difficult.
Here's a quick look at some demographics and numbers from Ferguson, Mo. For context and comparison, we've also provided numbers from St. Louis County.
Emotions continue to run high as people throughout the greater St. Louis area try to process the fatal shooting by police of an unarmed young man. Across the region, however, people are pondering it all and trying to look for ways to move forward. What lessons can be learned? How can the greater community heal?
There is another narrative about Ferguson that some residents feel is not being told: Ferguson is a good community, they say. That’s why they choose to live and work there. While covering the rapidly changing news in Ferguson this week, we were also listening to what residents were saying about their city. Here are snippets from what we’ve heard, so far -- the beginning of a series of stories we will produce in the coming weeks: This Is Ferguson.
Through tweets and vines, Facebook posts and YouTube videos, the world has been watching Ferguson this week. Social media updates from protestors and journalists on the ground have in large part shaped the narrative as demonstrations and unrest continue in response to the fatal shooting of unarmed Michael Brown, 18, on Saturday.