Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Drive Through Ferguson, Missouri

From 2014 08 22 Ferguson Missouri
When a white policeman, Darren Wilson, shot and killed an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri, he set off a chain of events that put Ferguson, Missouri, in the headlines for days. The community protested against police violence and the militarized police responded with tear gas and armored vehicles. Naturally, we just had to see things for ourselves.

After the jump, my impressions of Ferguson.

The three block stretch of West Florissant Avenue where the protests happened is unremarkable. Before all the recent troubles, the stretch must have looked a little like, say, West Spring Valley by Coit in Richardson. Now all the businesses have plywood over their windows.

By the time we drove through Ferguson, calm had largely returned to the city. We drove through at mid-day, further evoking a feeling of normalcy. Groups of police cars were conspicuously visible, but police officers themselves were staying quietly inside.
From 2014 08 22 Ferguson Missouri

The killing took place on a two lane, curving residential street, lined with two-story apartment buildings like you'd see in any suburb in America. At the scene of the killing, a makeshift memorial was constructed by the community. Dozens of long-stemmed roses were laid out down the middle of the road, parallel to traffic. A bigger memorial was being built on the side of the road. Small groups of people were standing in the road and in an open grassy area on the side of the road. A man was passing out fliers with Bible verses.
From 2014 08 22 Ferguson Missouri

All in all, Ferguson struck me as a typical American suburb. And that's what makes the recent events most troubling of all.

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