The people of the St. Louis suburbs erupted into riots and acts of vandalism soon after the death of an unarmed African American teenager.
Aug. 9 2014, Michael Brown, an eighteen year old boy, was shot repeatedly, and killed, by Ferguson, MO Officer Darren Wilson.
Wilson, a white police officer, was patrolling the area and initially stopped Brown for jaywalking. Ferguson police say that Brown stole cigars from a convenience store, but that Wilson was unaware of the crime at the initial stop.
Brown was walking with his 22 year old friend Dorian Johnson, who, when being interviewed told KMOV, the local St. Louis news station, said,
“We wasn’t committing any crime, bringing no harm to nobody, but my friend was murdered in cold blood.”
Many people have reacted strongly to this apparent violation of Brown’s civil rights and what is viewed by many including Johnson as an unecessary death. These protests, according to USA Today, are the worst the nation has witnessed since the LA riots in 1992. Many have also been rioting and looting.
Protestors have taken to streets all over the U.S., their apprehension emblazoned on T-shirts, on signs and in chants. These people fear that the law will work to protect the rights of a white police officer with no disciplinary record rather than the rights of an African American boy.
A Nationwide Day of Rage was anonymously called for on Aug. 21 in response to the series of Ferguson solidarity protests.
Here in San Diego, protestors joined forces at Balboa Park on the lawn between the World Beat Center and the Centro Cultural de la Raza. The crowd, made up mainly of activist groups, gathered and walked to downtown San Diego, their ultimate destination was the Hall of Justice. San Diego. Police officers escorted the group as they marched holding signs displaying the nationwide plea “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot”. The crowd then fell silent as the names and ages of victims that were killed in Ferguson were read aloud.
The rioting and protesting that has garnered the attention of America continues, pursuing a fair trial for Brown and the demand to have Wilson charged in Brown’s death.