Michael Brown

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.

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.

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.” 

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.

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.

Federal judge says grand juror argument against secrecy belongs in state court

May 29, 2015
St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch announces that the grand jury declined to indict Darren Wilson on any of five counts that were presented to it.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Updated 4:30 p.m. May 29 with suit filed in state court - A grand juror who served in the Darren Wilson case is taking a lawsuit against St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch to state court.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri says its client hopes to challenge secrecy requirements that prevent talking freely about the grand jury investigation and what evidence was presented. In a release, the ACLU says the grand juror wants to contribute to public discussions on race relations.

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.

U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver
Jim Howard I St. Louis Public Radio

This week on Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies interview U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver from his Washington, D.C., office.

The Democratic congressman represents portions of Kansas City as well as several rural counties in mid-Missouri. For many years, Cleaver was a pastor at the St. James United Methodist Church in Kansas City which probably explains why he’s one of Missouri politics’ most celebrated orators.

Family attorney Anthony Gray announces that the parents of Michael Brown have filed a civil lawsuit in the Aug. 9, 2014, shooting death of their son Michael. In back from left are attorney Daryl Parks, mother Lesley McSpadden and father Michael Brown Sr.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

The parents of Michael Brown filed a wrongful death suit Thursday against the city of Ferguson, former Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson and former Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, who fatally shot Brown.

Attorney Benjamin Crump pointed to a U.S. Department of Justice report that uncovered racial bias in the Ferguson Police Department.

Michael Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, listens on March 5 as attorney Daryl Parks announces the family's intent to sue former police officer Darren Wilson and the city of Ferguson for her son's death.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Updated as of 10:30 pm., April 22, 2015:

The family of Michael Brown will file a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Ferguson on Thursday, according to a news  release sent Wednesday night.

Ferguson City Councilmembers Brian Fletcher, Ella Jones and Wesley Bell take their oaths of office on Tuesday.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Right after Ella James, Wesley Bell and Brian Fletcher were sworn in as new members of the Ferguson City Council, one of the legislative body’s veteran members provided some advice — both for his new colleagues and the people of Ferguson. 

After the aftermath of Michael Brown’s death brought nationwide attention and scrutiny on the St. Louis County suburb, Councilman Dwayne James implored the new council members and the general public to be accountable. 

Ferguson Commissioners T.R. Carr and Traci Blackmon wait to start a meeting of the commission's municipal governance working group.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

When the Ferguson Commission first met last December, its members bore the brunt of pent-up anger and frustration. It was just days after a grand jury decided against indicting former Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson for shooting Michael Brown.

At that first gathering, the 16-member commission was beset by livid audience members and skepticism about the commission’s ultimate value. But recently inside a classroom on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus, the tensions of last year seemed far away.

Ella Jones, center, looks up at the television during last week's election in Ferguson. Jones easily won a city council race in a suburb that's been rocked by strife and discord.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

When Ella Jones walked into Drake’s Place last Tuesday night, her diverse group of supporters was ready for a celebration.

As her well-wishers munched on tiny sandwiches, the news got better. Jones trounced three other opponents to win a seat on the Ferguson City Council. It was a victory Jones chalked up to a lot of hard work – and a cogent strategy.

Wesley Bell
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On this special edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies break down the results of a municipal election cycle that received national attention.

As spring flowers push their way up at the site where Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in August, thoughts around the tragedy are also emerging as more pointed questions.

What institutionalized forces may have contributed to the shooting? How has it changed the St. Louis region? Will that continue? St. Louis Public would like to hear from you. (Scroll down to the end of this post to send us your questions.)

A Taser, with cartridge removed, making an electric arc between its two electrodes
jasonesbain | Wikipedia

About four months before the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, police less than 15 miles down I-70 in St. Charles shot another man named Brown. The event barely drew any attention from anyone except immediate family and friends.

The protest in Clayton Friday, March 20, 2015 had a funeral theme, complete with a white casket carried through the streets.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

More than 100 people marched through the streets of Clayton Friday in a continuation of protests begun last August after Michael Brown was killed.

Michel Martin at microphone
August Jennewein / University of Missouri–St. Louis / St. Louis Public Radio

Seven months after the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson drew national attention to racial disparities, St. Louis Public Radio is hosting a second community forum, Ferguson and Beyond: Continuing the Community Conversation.

Michel Martin
Doby Photography / NPR

In August, St. Louis Public Radio presented a community discussion, hosted by NPR’s Michel Martin, about race, law enforcement and more. Seven months later, Martin is returning to St. Louis to continue that conversation.

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