Ferguson, MO — Michael Brown, an 18-year old teen, was shot to death by a local police officer last Saturday afternoon in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, as he and a friend walked down a street. The police department says that Brown physically attacked a police officer after being confronted, but he was unarmed. That’s the first bit of controversy.
Both issues have created anger and frustration among local residents who have since resorted to violence, protesting, and looting.
Not a new problem
Even before this particular shooting, there had long been concerns on how police officers interact with residents in the city of Ferguson. The Washington Post, for example, reports that a disproportionate number of black drivers are pulled over and arrested in the area. Even more, researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) are studying the St. Louis County Police Department’s policing protocols. In addition, this past January, the local NAACP chapter in Missouri filed a civil rights complaint alleging racial profiling by police officers.
President Obama’s Statement
President Obama comment during a recent press conference: “The death of Michael Brown is heartbreaking, and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family and his community at this very difficult time. As Attorney General Holder has indicated, the Department of Justice is investigating the situation along with local officials, and they will continue to direct resources to the case as needed.”
He also encouraged non-violence while waiting for justice to play out.
Meanwhile, the question still remains. Why did they keep his the name of the officer who killed him a secret?