racial profiling

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.

File photo

This week, the Senate gave final approval to legislation that requires police departments to report the deaths of individuals in police custody. The bill’s passage on Wednesday came one day after witnesses before a subcommittee on human rights also expressed their support for the measure; their testimony illustrated why the legislation is needed. The bill, which passed the House last year at this time, now goes to the president for his signature.     

Darren Wilson
Undated video grab

One of the most important reforms that could grow out of the Aug. 9 killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, experts say, would be the creation of a national database containing detailed information about all police shootings, whether or not suspects are wounded or killed.

On this much experts agree. But beneath that agreement, the debate about police use of force is fraught with sharp disagreements about how important a factor race plays.

Rosebud bills its downtown as a "magnificent mile" full of antique shops, restaurants and other stores.
Stephanie Lecci

The city of Rosebud, a small town about 70 miles southwest from St. Louis, is trying to reclaim its image after NAACP protesters were met there with aracially charged counter-protest.

via Facebook/Speed Factory Athletics

Since 2000, police departments in the state of Missouri have been required by law to report information about their traffic stops – including the race of the person pulled over. 

via Flickr/davidsonscott15

Civil rights advocates hope to build on the public awareness surrounding the deaths of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin and others to push for a federal ban on racial profiling and to strengthen laws across the country. While Missouri ranks among those states with one of the more comprehensive laws on the books,  it falls short of what advocates say is necessary to combat racial profiling effectively. 

The primary focus of Missouri’s law deals with the collection and reporting of data related to traffic stops, including:

BreaDora, Marcus, their sister and their mother Irma in their living room Sunday night.
Durrie Bouscaren / St. Louis Public Radio

When violence broke out in Ferguson late Sunday, St. Louis Public Radio reporters Stephanie Lecci and Durrie Bouscaren took refuge in a family’s home. Bouscaren asked them what life is like right now in the formerly quiet suburb.

We met the Moore family in the middle of the night, after running from tear gas and gunfire during Sunday night’s clash between police and protestors. Stranded miles away from our cars, we knocked on the door of a house with the lights still on. Irma Moore let us in.

David Broome, UPI

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? St. Louis Public Radio’s Véronique LaCapra and Tim Lloyd went to look for answers and to find out what people in Ferguson are doing to cope.

(via Flickr/davidsonscott15)

Police stopped more than a million drivers in Missouri in 2013, statistics released Friday show, with African Americans still more likely to be pulled over than whites.

The Missouri Attorney General's office released the annual Vehicle Stops Report (VSR) Friday. In a statement, Attorney General Chris Koster said that the disproportionate number of stops of African American is less than ideal, but should serve as a way to start talking about how to remediate the trend.