12 things you should know about the Michael Brown shooting

14 Cards

CURATED BY German Lopez

2014-12-19 17:11:08 -0500

  1. What are the Ferguson protests about?
  2. Why was Michael Brown shot?
  3. What does race have to do with the Ferguson protests?
  4. Who is Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Michael Brown?
  5. Was the shooting of Michael Brown legal?
  6. Is the Michael Brown shooting being investigated?
  7. What happened in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting and grand jury decision?
  8. Is the black community represented in Ferguson's government?
  9. Are the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, peaceful?
  10. How did police handle the protests in Ferguson, Missouri?
  11. Why do police have military-grade equipment in the first place?
  12. How have government officials reacted to the protests in Ferguson, Missouri?
  13. You didn't answer my question!
  14. How have these cards changed?
  1. Card 1 of 14

    What are the Ferguson protests about?

    Michael Brown was an 18-year-old black man who was shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9, 2014. Brown, who was college-bound and had no criminal record, was unarmed, although local police accused him of robbing a convenience store moments before the shooting.

    Brown's killing and the subsequent events in Ferguson have become a national controversy touching on much larger national issues of race, justice, and police violence.

    The shooting almost immediately triggered protests in the St. Louis suburb, as demonstrators took to the streets to speak out against what many saw as yet another example of police brutality against young black men, for which Ferguson has a troubling record.

    Michael brown mother

    Tears roll down the cheek of Lesley McSpadden, the mother of slain teenager Michael Brown. (Scott Olson / Getty Images)

    The situation subsequently escalated and drew national attention when police reacted to protesters, even those acting peacefully, with military-grade equipment, such as armored vehicles, tear gas, rubber bullets, and sound cannons.

    One of major demands of protesters was to get prosecutors to put Wilson on trial for the Brown shooting. But a grand jury decided not to indict Wilson after three months of deliberations — in what many saw as a deeply flawed, biased investigation led by local officials with close ties to law enforcement.

    The investigation into the shooting, inherently secretive grand jury proceedings, and subsequent reactions by local officials further worsened ties between local residents and their government, which is controlled by mostly white politicians despite Ferguson's majority black population.

    The events in Ferguson captured national attention because, in many ways, they're indicative of the racial disparities many Americans, particularly minorities, see in the criminal justice system on a daily basis. While the specifics of the Brown shooting involve just one teen and one police officer in a small St. Louis suburb, the circumstances surrounding Brown's death replicate a fear commonly held by many parents — that black lives matter less, particularly in the face of increasingly heavily armed police who are carry tremendous legal freedom in whether they can shoot a suspect they merely perceive as dangerous.

  2. Card 2 of 14

    Why was Michael Brown shot?

  3. Card 3 of 14

    What does race have to do with the Ferguson protests?

  4. Card 4 of 14

    Who is Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Michael Brown?

  5. Card 5 of 14

    Was the shooting of Michael Brown legal?

  6. Card 6 of 14

    Is the Michael Brown shooting being investigated?

  7. Card 7 of 14

    What happened in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting and grand jury decision?

  8. Card 8 of 14

    Is the black community represented in Ferguson's government?

  9. Card 9 of 14

    Are the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, peaceful?

  10. Card 10 of 14

    How did police handle the protests in Ferguson, Missouri?

  11. Card 11 of 14

    Why do police have military-grade equipment in the first place?

  12. Card 12 of 14

    How have government officials reacted to the protests in Ferguson, Missouri?

  13. Card 13 of 14

    You didn't answer my question!

  14. Card 14 of 14

    How have these cards changed?

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