Ferguson | St. Louis Public Radio

Ferguson

Kyra Sanders, 13, holds a handwritten sign as she lines up without about 20 others to bring attention to a new non-profit that wants to bring jobs and businesses to a strip mall in north St. Louis County.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

A former Democratic campaign manager is partnering with a Greendale resident to start a new non-profit in Ferguson called Communities in Unity.

Damion Trasada and Theresa Bradley say they want to buy an empty strip mall in the Ferguson area and recruit local businesses to locate there. They would then use the revenue from the shopping center to support youth development programs. The stores in the strip mall would also provide jobs for young people living in the area.

(Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio)

It was a much different scene than 11 months ago at 9420 West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson.

The parking lot of the former QuikTrip was ground zero for protests in the days following Michael Brown’s death on August 9. The burned-out shell of the store and graffiti was a reminder of the looting and violence that descended on the street.

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

On this week’s episode of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome former Missouri state Sen. Maida Coleman to the program.

The St. Louis Democrat was tapped last year to lead the Office of Community Engagement, an entity set up by Gov. Jay Nixon that, in his administration’s words, is aimed at “engaging communities, public and private sector leaders, clergy and citizens across the state in communication regarding critical issues affecting Missouri communities.” 

St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch delivers a keynote address at a Saint Louis University law school  symposium on policing after Ferguson on February 20, 2015.
Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 9:00 am Tuesday with a copy of the order.

A St. Louis County judge has short-circuited an effort to oust prosecutor Bob McCulloch from office.

Judge Joseph Walsh on Thursday dismissed what’s known as a quo warranto action filed by four North County activists. The group was asking Walsh to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the way McCulloch handled the Darren Wilson grand jury. That prosecutor could have officially challenged McCulloch’s right to hold office if misconduct was discovered.

Children at the JSO Summer Learning Enrichment Program line up to play dodgeball last Tuesday. The camp takes place at Greater St. Mark Family Church's school, which had its air conditioning units stolen earlier this year.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On a balmy Tuesday afternoon, dozens of young children could feel the competitive spirit floating through the hallways of Greater St. Mark Family Church’s school.

Youngsters enrolled in the JSO Summer Learning Enrichment Program filed into a gymnasium to play a spirited game of kickball. It’s one of numerous activities offered at the camp, which caters mainly to low-income children from north St. Louis County.

But competitiveness wasn’t the only thing wafting through the building. Walk into certain classrooms, and the sticky, sweaty aura of heat is unmistakable.

Saint Louis University President Fred Pestello addresses students at the university's Clock Tower last August after the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson.
Saint Louis University

When Fred Pestello began his tenure as Saint Louis University’s first lay president last July 1, anyone involved with the school may have said his biggest task would be reuniting the campus after a tumultuous time under the Rev. Lawrence Biondi.

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

The four regional law enforcement agencies that responded to the events in Ferguson last year in the first 17 days after Michael Brown’s death lacked protocols, consistent training and policing philosophies, according to a draft summary of a Justice Department report.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III meets the press on Wednesday. He announced Police Chief Tom Jackson was stepping aside.
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

An effort to recall Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III appears to have narrowly fallen short.

St. Louis Board of Elections Democratic director Eric Fey told St. Louis Public Radio that critics of the mayor had gathered 1,787 valid signatures – which was 27 short of the 1,814 needed amount to trigger a recall. Petitioners were given additional time to gather signatures after initially submitting too few.

Protesters in Ferguson in August 2014
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Recent incidents from Ferguson to Baltimore regarding police and community relationships have fostered other uncomfortable truths on the state of racial affairs in America. Many wonder what can be done to address the age-old issue or if there is any one particular act that will solve it.

What about the “truth?”

St. Louis Regional Chamber president Joe Reagan discusses the new 'Take Pride in St. Louis' campaign.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

A new media campaign launched by the nonprofit St. Louis Civic Pride Foundation on Thursday is encouraging St. Louisans to tell their "positive and authentic" stories about the region on social media.

The "Take Pride in St. Louis" campaign features a website where people can share their stories, as well as broadcast and print ads of St. Louis celebrities like Bob Costas, Joe Buck and Jackie Joyner-Kersee extolling the region's virtues.

Terence Blanchard performs with his band E Collective
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Grammy-winning jazz musician Terence Blanchard is no stranger to composing music inspired by social injustice. He wrote an album about New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.  He wrote the opera "Champion," which dealt with race and sexuality issues in boxing and debuted at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis last year. And he just released a new work inspired by the death of Eric Garner and the #BlackLivesMatter social media campaign that’s taken root in St. Louis since the shooting death of Michael Brown.

Lawmakers in Texas approved a bill providing money and setting guidelines for police body cameras.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

At first blush, Texas state Sen. Royce West didn’t seem to have the most hospitable environment to pass legislation providing body camera grants to local law enforcement agencies.

After all, the Texas legislature isn’t brimming with Democrats like West these days. And in contrast to Missouri’s divided government, GOP officials occupy every single statewide office throughout the Lone Star State.

Danielle Kain, 12, catches a football during the first day of summer camp at the Boys & Girls Club at Ferguson Middle School.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

Amid bunches of blue balloons, the newest chapter of The Boys & Girls Club of Greater St. Louis held its first day of summer camp at Ferguson Middle School on Monday.

About 200 students — ages 6 to 15 — signed up for the full-day program, which includes outdoor activities, field trips, and classes. In the fall, students aged 6 to 18 will be able to visit for after-school activities.

Blessing Hasan, 14, said her mother signed her up, but she wanted to come for the arts and music classes offered at the camp. Living in Ferguson over the past year has been rough, she said.

Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

About 25 protesters rallied outside the Carnahan Courthouse in downtown St. Louis Friday afternoon, demanding Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce convene a “town hall” meeting to push for reforms in police tactics and the municipal justice system.

Deputies from the St. Louis Sheriff’s Department outnumbered the group of peaceful demonstrators, lining up along the granite stairs of the courthouse’s main entrance on Market Street.  

Ferguson protest 3/12/2015
Lawrence Bryant | St. Louis American

African Americans who live near where Michael Brown was shot showed a sharp decrease in how much they trust police and believe in their legitimacy in the weeks after Brown’s death, according to a survey by a criminologist at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.

Meanwhile, white residents who live near the shooting showed no decrease in support for police. In fact, there was a slight uptick in how much they trust police.

Emanuele Berry | St. Louis Public Radio

Many gathered to speak for and against Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III at Tuesday night's Ferguson City Council meeting. Earlier in the day, reports surfaced that a petition to recall the mayor would be turned into the city clerk and presented to the council at the meeting. However, the petition was never filed.

Gitana Productions

As soon as Cecilia Nadal of Gitana Productions heard about the killing of Michael Brown, she went straight to Ferguson and participated in the protests in an effort to understand what had happened. In the process, she discovered many stories that she wanted to tell so she enlisted the help of playwright Lee Patton Chiles. The result is the play “Black and Blue” which examines the complex relationship between police and African-American communities.

Michael Brown, Sr., (second from the right) stands in front of the temporary memorial dedicated to his son Michael Brown, Jr. The elder Brown helped dismantle the memorial on Wednesday.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

When Michael Brown Sr., came to the spot where his son — Michael Brown Jr. — was killed, he had the marker to show where a worldwide movement began.

Carrying a hefty plaque that honors his son, the elder Michael Brown placed the soon-to-be-permanent memorial on a grassy spot that separates Canfield Road and the sidewalk. With rain dripping down the bill of his Cardinals baseball cap, he declared: “This is permanent for what happened to Mike Brown and for what happened to him at Canfield.”

Images from the "Hearts for Ferguson" project
Great Circle

After Michael Brown was shot and killed in Ferguson last summer, and unrest delayed the opening of classes in the Ferguson-Florissant schools, the district wanted to make sure students had help handling their emotions, so their learning wasn't affected.

A police line in Ferguson Aug. 13, 2014
Dale Singer | St. Louis Public Radio

President Barack Obama announced a ban Monday on the federal government providing some military-style equipment to local police agencies. The New York Times reports the ban will apply to “tracked armored vehicles, the highest-caliber firearms and ammunition and camouflage uniforms.”

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Jessica Hentoff

Circus Harmony, St. Louis’ only social circus and circus school, created Peace Through Pyramids, a performance arts initiative teaching youth of all races that cooperation, communication and standing on the shoulders of each other are keys to the path of peace.

Appeals Court judge Roy Richter was on the bench in Ferguson for the first time on March 19. Video screens were set up in another building to accommodate those who wanted to watch the court but did not have cases.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Ferguson's municipal court has significantly improved its operations since the release of a blistering federal report in March, the office that handles administrative affairs for the courts in Missouri has found.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 6:14 p.m. May 7 with comments from Gov. Jay Nixon and House Speaker John Diehl - Missouri lawmakers have sent Gov. Jay Nixon the first bill of the 2015 legislative session that deals with the fallout from last year’s unrest in Ferguson.  The House passed Senate Bill 5 today, 134-25, after the Senate overwhelmingly approved it Wednesday night.

Photo of police car
Jason Rojas | Flickr

Updated at 2 p.m. with comments from Chuck Wexler, local leaders. — A report from a national research group says St. Louis’ fragmented policing is hurting the region in many ways.

Emanuele Berry | St. Louis Public Radio

 An unarmed black man has an encounter with police and ends up dead. The incident is followed by peaceful protests then violence and police in riot gear, fire, looting and media trucks.

Last August this was Ferguson. This week it’s Baltimore.

Church members pick up debris. 81914
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

Many St. Louisans followed the news closely this week as unrest, issues and inevitable comparisons to Ferguson streamed from Baltimore. For a moment, it looked as though the country might stop treating Ferguson as a pariah and focus more on the nation's widespread systemic problems related to race.

But so far, it’s not turning out to be that moment.

Demonstrators sketched a chalk outline of a body on the pavement of the Ferguson Police Station on October 13.
Rachel Lippman | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 5:50 p.m. April 29 - The Senate gave final approval to its deadly force bill Wednesday.

The bill raises the standard to justify the use of deadly force. The measure passed with a 32-2 bipartisan vote and now heads to the House.

A police officer is silhouetted against Ferguson's police department and municipal court building, during nighttime protests on November 26, 2014.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio | File photo

Police and protesters returned to West Florissant Avenue Tuesday night.

People came together near the former Original Reds BBQ in Ferguson around 8 p.m., as demonstrations continued in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray.

The Rev. Starsky Wilson, co-chair of the Ferguson Commission.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

The Ferguson Commission agreed Monday night by a unanimous vote to adopt a new operating principle that requires its working groups to use a lens of racial equality as they consider their recommendations for the September report. 

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