Ferguson | St. Louis Public Radio

Ferguson

Tear gas was used in Ferguson. Nov. 24 2014
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

A year after Michael Brown's death, Ferguson and the issues raised there continue to resonate far beyond St. Louis. In addition to our own reporting, we've compiled links here to some of the one-year anniversary coverage by others that you might find particularly interesting.

at the post office s. grand 11.26
Rebecca Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

After the death of Michael Brown, artists—of the St. Louis region and nationwide—quickly began examining and commemorating their confusion and pain.

St. Louis Public Radio arts reporters Nancy Fowler and Willis Ryder Arnold joined “St. Louis on the Air” to talk about artists’ responses to Ferguson and the links between art and activism that have helped drive the movement.

Ferguson October protesters
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Perhaps one of the most enduring images following Michael Brown's shooting death last year is the flood of people who took to the streets in Ferguson to protest. His death became a rallying cry for hundreds of people, calling for police accountability and social justice.

Michael Brown, Sr., (second from the right) stands in front of the temporary memorial dedicated to his son Michael Brown, Jr. earlier this year. Brown's death had a monumental impact on the city of Ferguson -- and the St. Louis region.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On a cloudless July morning, there’s a tranquil aura around the Corner Coffee House as the clock ticks closer to the Aug. 9 anniversary of Michael Brown’s death. Daily protests have petered out and the hordes of reporters who camped out here have moved onto the next story – at least until this weekend.

But for Ferguson residents like John Powell, there is no new normal. There’s no Aug. 8. The Catholic school teacher who’s lived in Ferguson for nine years says the town he once knew will never be the same. 

Protests and chants came into the St. Louis County Council chambers Tuesday night.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

One year after Michael Brown’s death, St. Louisans are yearning for resolution. Truth is we’re nowhere close to achieving it. We can’t even be sure we’re on the right track. And yet, the anger and pain that we’ve experienced since last August have brought us to a new place. Call it the end of the beginning.

Convention and visitor business in the St. Louis region appears to have bounced back following a rough period after last year's violence in Ferguson.

St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

With the clock ticking closer to the anniversary of Michael Brown’s shooting death, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch for a special edition of Politically Speaking.

Tear gas was used in Ferguson. Nov. 24 2014
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

A year after Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson and the unrest that ensued, many of the major political players continue to reassess, reappraise and reflect.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III prepares to hand a resolution to a city resident. Knowles reflected on how his city's changed since Michael Brown's death earlier this week.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

In a year filled with trials and tribulations that few municipal officials face in a lifetime, Ferguson Mayor James Knowles learned quite a bit.

Throughout the 12 months that followed Michael Brown’s death at the hands of a former Ferguson police officer, Knowles said his city found out the hard way how important it is for a government to communicate with its residents. Just because somebody doesn’t speak up at a council meeting or through an e-mail, Knowles said, doesn’t mean “there aren’t issues out there that need to be addressed.”

Clockwise from the upper left: John Powell, Greg Gibson, Amy Peach and George Lenard.
Sarah Kellogg | St. Louis Public Radio

Part 4 of 5

The death of Michael Brown at the hands of a police officer in Ferguson brought the eyes of the world to St. Louis last August. But it’s the people who live in St. Louis who were impacted most directly.

Now that a year has almost passed, St. Louis Public Radio is inviting you to share how Brown’s death affected your life, as well as your thoughts about how the events that followed impacted the region as a whole. We’ll be asking you a different question every day this week.

Today’s question: Is St. Louis as a region moving in the right direction to bridge gaps of race and class? If so, how so? If not, what needs to be done differently?

(Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio)

The burned-out buildings are gone, but one year after Michael Brown’s death the scars at local businesses along West Florissant Avenue are still apparent.

At Zisser Tire & Auto Service in Dellwood there is plywood on several windows. Owner John Zisser said he’s just waiting on a city permit to change the window configuration.

A young man carries a child past boarded up businesses along West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

There are still scars in Ferguson.

One year after the protests that attracted the world’s attention, many of the damaged stores along West Florissant Road are still boarded up; trust between residents and police has frayed throughout the city; and private relationships have been strained by differences of opinion.

From left to right: Jerry Benner, Greg Gibson and Amy Peach.
Sarah Kellogg | St. Louis Public Radio

Part 3 of 5

The police shooting death of Michael Brown on Aug. 9, 2014 brought the eyes of the world to St. Louis. But it’s the people who live in St. Louis who were impacted most directly.

Now that a year has passed, St. Louis Public Radio is inviting you to share how Brown’s death affected your life, as well as your thoughts about how the events that followed impacted the region as a whole. We’ll be asking you a different question every day this week.

Today’s question: Are the racial divides in St. Louis better or worse than they were before Aug. 9, 2014?

Felicia Shaw, new executive director of St. Louis' Regional Arts Commission, said she had a sense that this community would now "be open to change" after the events of Ferguson.
Nancy Fowler

When new Regional Arts Commission (RAC) executive director Felicia Shaw realized her job at a San Diego foundation might be eliminated, she wondered what that might mean for her life.

“I was thinking about what new direction I wanted to go in,” Shaw said. “And then, Ferguson happened.”

Embarrassment, sadness, anger and guilt

Last August, when Shaw listened to the news coming from her hometown of St. Louis, she went through a gamut of emotions: embarrassment, sadness, anger and guilt. What she heard loud and clear were the very same issues that drove her to move San Diego — more than three decades earlier.

Clockwise from upper left: Jerry Benner, Katie Banister, Dan Hyatt and Janice Thomas.
Sarah Kellogg | St. Louis Public Radio

Part 2 of 5

The police shooting death of Michael Brown on Aug. 9, 2014, brought the eyes of the world to St. Louis. But it’s the people who live in St. Louis who were impacted most directly.

Now that a year has passed, St. Louis Public Radio is inviting you to share how Brown’s death affected your life, as well as your thoughts about how the events that followed impacted the region as a whole. We are considering a different question every day this week.

Today’s question: What still needs to happen to resolve the issues brought to light this year?

This painting of an officer and an artist wearing a "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" shirt, by Solomon Thurman, shows the thin line between police and protesters, according to gallerist Freida Wheaton.
Solomon Thurman

In a single moment and with a half-dozen gunshots, St. Louis was shaken to the core on Aug. 9.

The shooting death of Michael Brown by Ferguson police office Darren Wilson unleashed continuous waves of local and national protest that significantly shifted the St. Louis arts scene. Since then, musicians, dancers, and visual, performing and literary artists have sung and performed, and written and painted the issues revealed by the tragedy.

committee crowd at microphone
Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

A coalition of activist groups is planning a series of events this week to commemorate the first anniversary of Michael Brown Jr.’s fatal police shooting on Aug. 9, 2014.

Nearly a dozen groups are participating in the so-called “United We Fight” activities that begin Friday morning and culminate with a day of civil disobedience on Monday. 

Ferguson Historical Society

The photo is an iconic image of post-World War II America: A bustling downtown main street lined with sturdy Chevys, Fords and Chryslers. Pedestrians strolling past a hodgepodge of storefronts with flashy light-up signs: Barbays Self-Service Market, King Drugs, Florsheim shoes, Coca Cola.

 

This was Ferguson, Mo., in the late 1950s, just past the midpoint of its 120-year history.

Clockwise from the upper left: Janice Thomas, George Lenard, Greg Gibson and John Powell.
Sarah Kellogg | St. Louis Public Radio

Part 1 of 5

The shooting death of Michael Brown on Aug. 9, 2014, by a police officer in Ferguson brought the eyes of the world to St. Louis. But it’s the people who live in the St. Louis area who were impacted most directly.

Now that a year has nearly passed, St. Louis Public Radio is exploring how Brown’s death affected individuals and the region as a whole. We're discussing a different question every day this week, and we invite you to join the conversation. 

Today's question: What's changed for you since the death of Michael Brown?

Rev. Steve Lawler of St. Stephen's Episcopal and Rev. F. Willis Johnson Jr. of Wellspring Church teamed up to organize a week of workshops at Wellspring ahead of the anniversary of the death of Michael Brown.
courtesy Open Road PR

Updated Mon. 8/3/15 at 11:45 a.m.

Two Ferguson churches are teaming up to create an "incubator" for racial and economic justice. St. Stephen’s Episcopal and Wellspring churches are launching the Center for Social Empowerment and Justice with a week of workshops leading up to the anniversary of the death of Michael Brown on Sunday, Aug. 9.

The center will be on the Wellspring campus and provide programming space for several nonprofits dedicated to supporting education and small businesses, including the Ferguson-Florissant school foundation, the Ferguson Youth Initiative and Incubate Ferguson, a business-minded venture started by Rev. Steve Lawler of St. Stephen's Episcopal and the Vine.

Former Sen. Maida Coleman
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

You could say Maida Coleman has come full circle.

The former state senator worked at the public service commission back in the 1980s. There, she was a clerk who certified trucks that traversed across the state.

Flash forward to Thursday, and Coleman is about to return to the agency that regulates public utilities – but on a different level. Gov. Jay Nixon tapped Coleman to serve as a PSC commissioner, effective Aug. 10. She replaces Robert Kenney, a St. Louis attorney who was nearing the end of his six-year stint on the PSC.

Clockwise from top left, Damon Davis, Freida Wheaton, Michael Castro, Brian Owens, Lee Patton Chiles, De Nichols
St. Louis Public Radio file photos

For the past year, a tragic and powerful muse has fed the energy and work of St. Louis-area artists.

The shooting death of Michael Brown and the unpeeling of issues that followed have inspired a bounty of work with a social-justice mission. As we near the Aug. 9 anniversary of Brown’s death, we talked with a number of arts professionals about their work in the wake of the turmoil:

Karen Aroesty of the Anti-Defamation League of Missouri and Southern Illinois joined "St. Louis on the Air" in studio.
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

The Anti-Defamation League’s anti-bias program Law Enforcement and Society: Lessons of the Holocaust will mark its 10th anniversary by honoring the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, its first law enforcement partner to engage with the program.

Susannah Lohr | St. Louis Public Radio

With more than a hundred homicides already this year, St. Louis is no stranger to gun violence. On July 14, a St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department sergeant was ambushed while working a second, security job in the early hours of the morning. The officer survived thanks to a bulletproof vest, and four suspects have been arrested in connection with the shooting.  

We independently confirmed the identity of the officer with the St. Louis Police, but have granted him anonymity out of his concern for the safety of his family in order to hear his perspective on the situation.

Damon Davis hands up
www.heartacheandpaint.com

The 11-plus miles of actual roadways that separate Ferguson and Ladue might as well be the distance between St. Louis and Shanghai — or at least it feels that way sometimes.

The variations and nuances that register in our psyches and imaginations — the old bugaboos of fears, conflicts, realities, prejudices, heritage, history, economics — all of this and so many more obstacles litter a twisting, turning virtual pathway between the two communities.

Chase Bond, 4, of Ferguson gets a haircut from Deyana Williams of the Elaine Steven Beauty College Saturday, July 25, 2015 in Forestwood Park during the Day of Hope outreach fair.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Cars lined the street leading to Forestwood Park in Ferguson Saturday for a resource fair organized by a faith-based non-profit that specializes in disaster relief and outreach to the poor.

Convoy of Hope’s “Day of Hope” provided a free meal and a kid’s carnival to anyone who stopped by the park, along with health screenings, haircuts, and other goods and services.

Andre Anderson, the new interim chief of the Ferguson police department, listens as Mayor James Knowles announces his appointment to the job on July 22. City manager Ed Beasley is to Anderson's left.
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

A 24-year veteran of the Glendale, Ariz., police department will take the reins in Ferguson for the next six months.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles announced Wednesday that Andre Anderson, who has led Glendale's Criminal Investigations Division, will take over the 50-officer Ferguson department on July 23. He'll have the job for six months, replacing Al Eickhoff, who took over after former chief Thomas Jackson resigned in March.

Karen Aroesty of the Anti-Defamation League leads a diversity awareness training for police cadets.
Nancy Fowler

A year of unrest and turmoil has yielded the beginnings of change in St. Louis — along with a whole lot of questions.

How do we untangle the deep, gnarly roots of racism? What is this thing called privilege? How do people of different races talk to each other about this stuff?

Local organizations that help people think through these issues report a significant increase in requests for diversity training since the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer.

St. Louis Advocates for Youth presents its "Resource Accountability Project" tracking Ferguson-related donations in the St. Louis area during a public forum.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

A group of youth advocates is questioning how money donated to programs for young people in the aftermath of the unrest in Ferguson has been spent and whether the funds have made an impact. 

Henry Biggs
Courtesy of Henry Biggs

Henry Biggs, an entrepreneur and former dean at Washington University in St. Louis, had a big goal in mind that involved a 27-mile swim for a good cause.

On July 15, Biggs swam around Manhattan to raise funds for educational and mentoring initiatives in Ferguson.

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