For the past week, Ferguson, Missouri has experienced riots, looting, and violence which has been sparked by the shooting of Michael Brown, a teenager who was shot and killed by a police officer on August 9th, 2014. The circumstances of the shooting have been disputed but after 3 autopsies were performed on his body, the results have suggested that Michael Brown was surrendering before he was shot and killed. This event has caused major unrest in the town of Ferguson and ever since the shooting, events are becoming worse.
Violence Sparks in Ferguson
On the evening after the shooting, a candlelight vigil was held in honor of Michael Brown in the area where he was killed. Protesters against the shooting recited that they wanted justice for Michael Brown and that the police officer, who’s identity was unknown, should be arrested. They chanted, “No justice, no peace” demanding for the officer to be apprehended and brought to justice. The officer was put out of the spotlight and police began to interrupt the protests that were slowly developing into riots.
Groups assemble to protest the shooting.
By August 10th, everything began to take a turn for the worse. That evening, social media sites were flooded with new information from protesters that rioting and looting had begun. The officers attempted to subdue the violence to no avail and the violence only got worse. The next day, violence continued and officials changed their attitude on the events that were taking place. The chief of St. Louis County Police asked for peace and to restore proper decorum to the town. Meanwhile, the FBI opened a civil rights case to figure out what really happened on the night of August 9th and the police tried its best to stop the protests. With no other option, officers began to use tear gas to disperse the crowd. When matters became worse, 31 people were arrested and 2 people were shot as police tried to calm down and disperse the crowd. The police used tear gas, rubber bullets, and arrested people with plastic handcuffs.
Police attempt to calm down protesters.
By the 13th of August, it seemed like the riots would never stop as protesters began to take extreme measures by throwing Molotov cocktails and shooting at police. More arrests were made including members of the press such as Wesley Lowery of the Washington Post and Ryan J. Reilly of the Huffington Post. Amid all the violence, Mr. Obama received word of the tensions mounting in Ferguson, Missouri. The President released a statement which criticized law enforcement for using excessive force and for letting things become worse than they should be. As protests continued and matters became worse, the official autopsy was released which stated that Michael Brown was shot 6 times and the results suggested that he was surrendering before he was killed. Instead of bringing peace, the news flared more violence in the streets of the town. The protests have not stopped as of the 19th and the National Guard has been called in to stop the citizens from revolting.
A Worsening State of Affairs
As riots continue, Ferguson turns into a state of turmoil with no way out. Local businesses are affected by the violence, children are affected by going to school, and the city is becoming what it should never be. Until when will this chaos continue? The time has come for Ferguson to become the city it once was and for Michael Brown to get the justice he deserves. As we all watch the events unfold on our TV and computer screens, we can only hope for the best for those who are stuck in the middle of the chaos in Ferguson, Missouri.
Police in riot gear prepare for the violence heading their way.