Michael Brown | St. Louis Public Radio

Michael Brown

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.

More than a thousand demonstrators gather on Canfield Drive on Aug. 30, 2014 as part of a National March on Ferguson.
File photo | Emanuele Berry | St. Louis Public Radio

The Department of Justice’s report detailing the excesses of the Ferguson Police Department has prompted plenty of analyses and speculation about whether the town of roughly 20,000 would change its ways.

About 50 demonstrators chant the names of people who have died a the hands of police followed by 'Fight back' on Wednesday, March 4, 2015.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Demonstrators returned to a familiar locale last night in response to the U.S. Department of Justice reports on Ferguson – the street in front of the police department.

Standing in the cold street, about 50 people blocked traffic as two Ferguson police cars look on. They chanted the names of those who have died at the hands of area police in the last few months, and held an upside-down flag listing their names. Prominent on the list were Michael Brown, VonDerrit Myers and Kajieme Powell.

After Cafe Natasha was vandalized on Nov. 24, artists painted murals on the boarded-up windows. The owner of Cafe Natasha said relief funds, as well as support from the community, helped bring the restaurant back in business.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

While many businesses damaged during Ferguson-related protests have received help, their experiences and prospects for full recovery vary by neighborhood.

Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Seven months after Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown, the U.S. Department of Justice today released two investigations - one that cleared Wilson and the other that accused Ferguson police and courts of violating constitutional rights.

Michael Brown's Normandy High School graduation photo
Provided by UPI

(Updated at 7:30 p.m. with comments from St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch)

The U.S. Justice Department’s report into the fatal of shooting of Michael Brown by then-police officer Darren Wilson makes two basic findings: investigators were not convinced that Wilson committed a federal crime; and that even if they were to indict Wilson, they didn’t believe they would be able to win at trial.

Two Ferguson activists have received an award for their writing in the wake of Michael Brown’s August death.

DeRay McKesson and Johnetta Elzie won the 2015 Howard Zinn Freedom to Write Award.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon talks with reporters in St. Louis. Nixon was on the defensive Wednesday about not having National Guardsmen in Ferguson after a grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Gov. Jay Nixon remained on the defensive Wednesday about his decision not to station the National Guard in Ferguson after a grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson.

Ferguson City Manager John Shaw, left, and Mayor James Knowles on Nov. 30, 2014.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Over the past six months, Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III found out what it was like to be transformed from a part-time mayor of a mid-sized suburb to a political figure on the international stage.

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar at a press conference Thursday, Sept.4
File photo by Bill Greenblatt | UPI

A new report finds that St. Louis County Police Department officials were rebuffed when they asked to station National Guard troops in Ferguson after a grand jury decided Darren Wilson’s fate. 

Six months after the shooting death of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer, “St. Louis on the Air” talked about how the region has changed. We also asked listeners what changes they hope will be made in the next year. Here are some of those responses, edited for length and clarity.

State Rep. Shamed Dogan, R-Ballwin
Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

On this week’s episode of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Chris McDaniel, Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum welcome state Rep. Shamed Dogan to the podcast for the first time. 

  Dogan, R-Ballwin, is a Northwoods native who worked in Washington, D.C. after graduating from Yale University. Among other things, Dogan worked for former U.S. Sen. Jim Talent, R-Mo., and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Monday marked six months since the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson. Since then, there have been many conversations about race, municipalities and use of force. Protests have been organized throughout the St. Louis region. And several commissions and organizations have been created.

Wash U, History Museum Seeking Ferguson Artifacts

Jan 30, 2015
Missouri History Museum employees dig through ash and scrap metal for artifacts on Jan. 29, 2015, at the burned-out Fashions R Boutique in Ferguson.
Emanuele Berry / St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri History Museum and Washington University are making sure artifacts from Ferguson are preserved.

Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia
Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

This week’s edition of Politically Speaking uses the magical power of radio to speak with Sen. Kurt Schaefer from his office in Jefferson City. 

The Columbia Republican chairs the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, which makes him one of the most influential figures in the budget-crafting process. He’s also chairing a special committee looking into Gov. Jay Nixon’s performance during the unrest in Ferguson.

Darren Wilson
Undated video grab

The New York Times is reporting that the Department of Justice is preparing a "legal memo recommending no civil rights charges against the officer, Darren Wilson," in the shooting death of Michael Brown. The Times report did not say when the memo would be released, but it has been widely reported that Attorney General Eric Holder wanted a resolution to the case before his departure.

Gov. Jay Nixon speaks during last year's State of the State address. The governor's speech comes amid heightened scrutiny of his actions during the Ferguson unrest and unprecedented GOP majorities in the Missouri General Assembly.
Tim Bommel, House Communications

When Gov. Jay Nixon steps in front of the lectern for his seventh State of the State speech, he’ll be speaking arguably at the lowest point of his power over the Missouri General Assembly. 

Any bit of his agenda that arouses even a hint of controversy can be slapped away by the huge Republican majorities in the House and Senate. And even some Democrats are upset over the way he handled the unrest in Ferguson. He has, in essence, entered the twilight of his governorship.

Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

Celebrations in St. Louis for Martin Luther King Jr. were interspersed with protests on Monday as activists continued their call for social justice in the wake of the police shooting of Michael Brown last August in Ferguson.

Nine members of the Congressional Black Caucus visited Wellspring United Methodist Church on Sunday. Seated left to right in the first row are: G.K. Butterfield, Andre Carson, Lacy Clay, Sheila Jackson Lee and Karen Bass.
Camille Phillips/St. Louis Public Radio

Wellspring United Methodist Church in Ferguson hosted nine members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Sunday for a service commemorating Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The chair of the CBC, G.K. Butterfield, told the congregation that all 46 members of the caucus are committed to comprehensive criminal justice reform.

“And so we have come to commemorate Dr. King. But we’ve also come to promise you, to promise Ferguson and promise America that the issue of criminal justice reform is the centerpiece of the CBC agenda in the 114th Congress,” Butterfield said.

Councilman Mark Harder, R-Ballwin
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

On this week's edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio reporters Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome the newest member of the St. Louis County Council -- Councilman Mark Harder. 

The Republican from Ballwin grew up in Normandy and eventually became a real estate professional. He was elected to the Ballwin City Council in 2011 and worked to mitigate the impact of a grocery store in the West County suburb.

Nate Birt | Provided

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s request for a St. Louis County judge to consider a new grand jury and special prosecutor in the death of Michael Brown calls for an action that is without precedent.

No Missouri court has appointed a special prosecutor and empaneled a second grand jury over the objection of the local prosecutor whose first grand jury did not indict, legal experts say. Nor does there appear to be a precedent anywhere else in the country.

Leaders playing the role of prosecuting attorneys sit in the foreground as Herdosia Bentum testifies that she has been mistreated by St. Louis-area police. The grand jury sits in the background.
Camille Phillips/St. Louis Public Radio

A symbolic grand jury convened by African liberation groups is meeting this weekend in north St. Louis County to hear evidence about the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown by then-Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson.

Emanuele Berry, Patricia Bynes and the Rev. F. Willis Johnson discuss Ferguson with 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Dec. 31, 2014, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Mary Edwards / St. Louis Public Radio

Ferguson has emerged as the top local (and national) story of the year. 

The Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown by Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson has raised questions about policing, poverty, government policy and funding, and safety. But some of the biggest questions have been about race and equality.

Protesters march down West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson earlier this year.
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Plans are moving forward to spruce up West Florissant Avenue, the site of intense protests that followed Michael Brown’s shooting death.

Roughly $2.5 million will go toward preliminary engineering on the Dellwood and Ferguson portions of the street. The ultimate aim is to incorporate pedestrian friendly elements – such as new sidewalks and bike lanes – into a 2.6 mile stretch of the road between I-270 and the Buzz Westfall Shopping Center.

Former Ferguson Mayor Brian Fletcher holds a big $50,000 check symbolizing a $50,000 donation to Reinvest North County. Fletcher's group -- I Love Ferguson -- raised the money through selling t-shirts, mugs and hats.
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

It’s been a few months since a group called I Love Ferguson started selling T-shirts, mugs and hats aimed at boosting the beleaguered town.

Since then, former Ferguson Mayor Brian Fletcher said the committee’s wares have been sold worldwide.

“We’ve shipped shirts to the United Kingdom, Italy and France. Our products are in 33 different countries,” said Fletcher, who is part of the I Love Ferguson committee. “They’ve been sent by relatives or they’ve been picked up at the I Love Ferguson store and brought back to those countries.”

Missouri State Capitol Building
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Just after the sun set on Nov. 24 — the day that then-Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson’s fate would be disclosed to the world — Missouri's Gov. Jay Nixon faced a throng of reporters at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. 

Appearing before cameras that would simulcast his words across the globe, the Democratic governor talked  at length about how law enforcement officials were ready to respond to the grand jury’s decision. 

Attorney General Chris Koster said the fragmented nature of St. Louis may inhibit long-term growth -- and may make policy change stemming from the Ferguson unrest difficult.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

In the limbo between Michael Brown’s death and the grand jury’s decision not to indict Darren Wilson, the state of the Ferguson Police Department became something of a national obsession.  

Attorney General Chris Koster announced the lawsuit in St. Louis.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is suing 13 St. Louis County municipalities for violating a state law that caps the percentage of ticket revenue that can be in a city’s budget. 

The statute in question – known as the “Mack’s Creek” law – stipulates that traffic fines and court costs can only comprise less than 30 percent of a city’s budget. Anything in excess has to go to schools.

Protesters sit on the steps of St. Louis City Hall, as locked metal grilles bar the doors at a protest on Dec. 17, 2014
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

About 50 protesters who marched to St. Louis City Hall Wednesday were greeted with locked metal grilles barring the doors.  For approximately two hours, employees were unable to go in or out, and residents hoping to pick up paperwork were turned away.  

Protesters briefly blocked traffic at the intersection of Tucker Blvd. and Market St., before they were ordered to the sidewalk by police. Then, about 25 laid down in front of City Hall for a ‘die in,’ while others sat nearby.

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