Showing posts with label Michael Brown. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Michael Brown. Show all posts

Thursday, July 30, 2020

No charges for officer in Michael Brown’s death

St. Louis County’s prosecutor announced Thursday that he will not charge the former police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, a dramatic decision that could reopen old wounds amid a renewed and intense national conversation about racial injustice and the police treatment of people of color.

Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell’s decision marked the third time prosecutors investigated and opted not to charge Darren Wilson, the white officer who fatally shot Brown, a Black 18-year-old, on Aug. 9, 2014. A St. Louis County grand jury declined to indict Wilson in November 2014, and the U.S. Department of Justice also declined to charge him in March 2015.

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Ferguson Elects Its First Black Mayor

The Missouri city where the death of Michael Brown set off weeks of nationwide protests and outrage in 2014 elected its first woman and first black mayor Tuesday night, according to CNN affiliate KMOV.

Returns from the St. Louis County Board of Elections show Ella Jones took 54% of the vote in the race for mayor of Ferguson versus Heather Robinett with 46%.

Jones is both the city's first black mayor and the first woman in that office, according to KMOV. Jones has worked as a chemist and church pastor, according to her campaign biography. She has served on the Ferguson city council since 2015, when she was elected as its first African-American member.


Friday, August 10, 2018

Michael Brown's mother announces run for Ferguson City Council

The mother of Michael Brown, the unarmed teenager who was fatally shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, four years ago, said Friday that she is running for city council in the St. Louis suburb.

Lezley McSpadden announced her candidacy along Canfield Drive, near the exact spot where her son, who was black, was shot and killed on Aug. 9, 2014, by a white police officer.

"Almost four years ago to this day, I ran down this very street, and my son was covered in a sheet," McSpadden said, fighting back tears. "I learned to walk again, and this is one of my first steps."

McSpadden said she plans to focus on three issues: community policing, economic equality and access to health care for Ferguson's young children.

She said she anticipated that some people might ask why she was qualified to seek elected office.

In response, she said: "If a mother had to watch her son lay on the street for four hours, and watch our community be completely disrespected by the people we elected, what would you do?

"You would stand up and you would fight, too."


Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Black Houston teenager accepted to 20 Universities with full ride scholarships

A Texas teen got into 20 colleges with full scholarships to each one, leaving his mother “in awe,” she said.

“I’m very grateful, I’m very thankful,” Berthinia Rutledge-Brown told ABC News. “I know that he has done an amazing job, and I get to watch him every day. It’s just normal to me.”

Micheal Brown, 17, is a senior at Lamar High School in Houston. He got into schools including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford and Georgetown.

Brown's mom describes him as “hardworking” and “caring.”

“He wants this to be an example and inspiration for other kids that if they work hard and use their resources, they can do whatever they set their minds to,” Rutledge-Brown said.

Brown is part of a program called EMERGE Fellowship. According to its website, the program “empowers and prepares high performing students from underserved communities to attend and graduate from selective colleges and universities across the nation.”

Rutledge-Brown said that although she knew her son had the grades to get scholarships, she never imagined anything like this.

“This has exceeded anything I ever thought. When I went to college I paid for it myself,” Rutledge-Brown said. “I really knew that when we went to the EMERGE orientation and saw the people that came back to speak, he would be able to go to school.”

Rutledge-Brown said Brown isn’t quite sure what school he wants to go to yet, but she has an idea of which one he will pick. She said regardless of where her son goes, he plans to study political science or economics and participate on a debate team.

His ultimate goal is to go to law school.

“He wants to come back to Houston and work in the community,” Rutledge-Brown said.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Ferguson settles wrongful death lawsuit with the family of Michael Brown

The parents of black teenager Michael Brown and the city of Ferguson, Missouri, have settled a lawsuit over his fatal shooting by a white city police officer in 2014, according to a court document filed on Monday.

Brown's death triggered sometimes violent protests in Ferguson and around the United States, fueled by later police killings of unarmed black men in other cities. It also helped spark debate about racial bias in the U.S. justice system.

Terms of the wrongful death settlement between Ferguson and Brown's parents, Michael Brown Sr. and Lesley McSpadden, were not disclosed. U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber approved the settlement and ordered it sealed.

"The gross settlement amount is fair and reasonable compensation for this wrongful death claim and is in the best interests of each plaintiff," Webber wrote.


Monday, July 27, 2015

Study: Prejudice makes us see innocent people as threats

The police killings of unarmed black men like Eric Garner, Michael Brown and, most recently, Sam Dubose at a July 19 traffic stop at the University of Cincinnati, have enraged many and baffled more. Why did Cleveland police shoot and kill 12-year-old Tamir Rice last year? How did self-styled block watch patrolman George Zimmerman decide to shoot and kill teenager Trayvon Martin, who was armed with nothing but a bag of candy on that night in 2012? These outrages have caused demonstrations, urban unrest, more violence and a larger sense that something has gone wrong in the nation’s race relations.

Besides outright racism, what motivates the overreaction of law-enforcement and vigilantes who have left these men dead?

A social psychologist at Wellesley College who studies diversity and friendship, Angela Bahns, has recently completed research that helps to explain part of the puzzle: It shows that people can imagine a sense of threat — a threat serious enough to justify violence — even with no real evidence besides their own stereotypes. And the stereotypes, the research suggests, are the root causes of the violence.

Prejudice makes us see innocent people as threats, study says

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Are conservatives/republicans/Tea Party anti black or just pro cop?

In light of the rash of videos showing police acting inappropriately toward African Americans there are two things we can expect whenever a video comes out. One being that everyone will see the videos and based on their own biases see what they want to see. The second thing is that conservatives/republicans/Tea Party will always side with the police and give them the overwhelming benefit of the doubt. Many African Americans will side with the victim because many have had or know family members that experienced their rights violated by the police. It's sad, but things always break down by race and political beliefs with this cases.

Conservatives will always find a way to side with the cop no matter what they see on video. They will post pictures of the victim holding up their middle finger or acting in a thuggish manner (even if it's not an actual picture of the victim), claim the kids were disrespectful, or if they are lucky find and post a victim's criminal record. They will do this to justify whatever the officer did as if past mistakes or teenage stupidity allows one to be beaten or shot. It's automatically assumed that the black victims were somehow at fault. They expect minorities to blindly show respect to people who in many cases show no respect to them.

There are two things that amaze me about conservatives/ Tea Party types always siding with the police.

One being that no matter how many of these videos come out, theses are always considered isolated incidents. Conservatives tend to believe that there are no bad cops just bad blacks that get themselves shot or beaten.

It's also amazing to me that people who are always spouting off about the government trying to violate their constitutional rights have no problem with police violating the rights of African Americans or other minorities. If you believe it's okay for police departments to police many minority communities the way that they do, then you believe in allowing them to routinely violate those people's civil rights. Conservatives should be the first to stand up and denounce inappropriate police actions if they truly believe the BS they spout.

Now of course that's not going to happen and one has to wonder why. Is it just having the utmost respect for law enforcement? Is it simply a blind eye to the realities of policing in minority neighborhoods, or is it due to the hue of the victim's skin as in good old fashioned racism or bias?

George L. Cook III,

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Permanent Michael Brown Memorial Planned at Shooting Site

The makeshift mid-street memorial that marked where Michael Brown was fatally shot by a police officer last summer was cleared out Wednesday — what would have been his 19th birthday — amid plans to install a permanent plaque in his memory nearby.

Read more: Permanent Michael Brown Memorial Planned at Shooting Site

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Prince releases new protest song, BALTIMORE.

Prince has released a new protest song entitled BALTIMORE in support of Freddie Gray, Michael Brown, the protesters, and the people of Baltimore. Check out the track below.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Congressional Black Caucus Not Surprised by Ferguson Report

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus said they are not surprised by the findings in the report released Wednesday by the Justice Department, faulting the city of Ferguson law enforcement for racial bias and unconstitutional practices.

Michael Brown's parents announce civil lawsuit in death

Lawyers for the parents of an unarmed, black 18-year-old who was fatally shot by a white police officer in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson said Thursday that they would file a civil lawsuit in Michael Brown's death.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Read the DOJ report on the Ferguson police Department

A DOJ civil rights investigation into the Ferguson criminal justice system found that authorities have routinely violated the rights of black citizens and have used tickets to generate revenue for the city. Read the entire DOJ report on the Ferguson Police Department below:

Ferguson Police Department Report

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

BET Exclusive: Obama Talks Race, Racism and How Far America Has to Go

President Obama sat down for an interview with BET in which he discussed race, racism, the interactions of young black men and the police, and the Eric Garner case. Watch that interview below:

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Kenny Smith's open letter to Charles Barkley about Barkley's comments on Ferguson

During an interview on a radio basketball analyst Charles Barkley caused quite a stir when he referred to the rioters in Ferguson as scumbags, and also seemed to be siding with the police version of events in Michael Brown's death. Now Charles has the right to his opinion (and I have the right to believe he's a jackass) and so does his friend and co-worker on TNT, Kenny Smith. Kenny Smith wrote his friend an open letter about his comments on Ferguson. Read that letter below:

Dear Chuck,

I hope this finds you in the way I always see you, in great spirits, with great joy and full of life. There are some things I want to openly say to you that sometimes in conversation get lost.

Firstly I lied! You ARE the greatest Power Forward of all time. It’s not (Tim) Duncan or (Karl) Malone, they had size and height that you weren’t blessed with and you never had near the talent around you that they were blessed to have. Contrarily you took your teams to similar heights. Secondly, you are a champion in my book. Effort and determination is what makes a champion, not a ring.

Lastly, you are the most entertaining person in sports television (partly because I throw you so many assists lol).

However, what I consistently find interesting is how writers and media members view your insights in politics, and now race relations, with the same reverence as your insights in sports.

They did it in the Trayvon Martin trial and now with Mike Brown and the decision in Ferguson. It’s not that you shouldn’t ever have an opinion, but you are often quoted alongside the likes of Al Sharpton and even President Obama. I would hope that Sharpton or President Obama would never be referenced with you when picking the next NBA Champs!

The body of work that our Black Civil Rights leaders put in by planning, executing and activating does not justify you being in the conversation. While your body of work on the court very few compare to nor should be mentioned when you are giving your expert analysis. Again, I respect that you have an opinion on Ferguson. And here’s mine.

The question must be asked: Why is there so much distrust in the police and the legal system from the African American community? Without manifesting what the effects of slavery still have today, Dec 1st still marks only 59 years since Rosa Parks sat on that memorable bus. Many of our parents and grandparents have lived through those times and have passed those stories on to all of us. Those civil rights changes were at one time the law! They were not illegal.

So did the protection of the law by the courts and police make it right? Obviously not, so as African Americans we still know and feel that there are laws and jurisdictions that severely penalize the poor and, most importantly, African Americans greater than any other group. Some laws were initially made without us as equals in mind; that’s just the facts. So the thought process that it’s not for us or by us will unfortunately lead to distrust.

When someone is in “the struggle”, which many of our black communities are in, they are living with a lack of educational facilities, high unemployment and poor recreational facilities. The masses involved in “the struggle” will react in several ways. They can overcome it, challenge it, live in it, or fall victim to it … For those of us who are decades removed from “the struggle” because of our life through sports or business, we now have to acknowledge that every option listed exists. If not, then we are the ignorant ones.

That leads me to the looters and civilians burning buildings which you referred to as “scumbags”. Here’s an analogy: If you put 100 people on an island with no food, no water, no hope of a ship coming, then some will overcome it and be resourceful, some will live in it, others will panic and others will show horrific character, which is wrong. But not to understand that all alternatives are possible is wrong as well.

I was also disheartened to see the reaction of burning buildings and looters by some. However, when you are in “The Struggle” to not expect that that potential reaction is foolish on our part.

The real issue is learning to positively manage your anger so you can be heard. It’s not that they are “scumbags”, their emotions won’t allow them to rationally think through their anger. I applaud that you have done a great job in your anger management in recent times … but not always.

Mike Brown wasn’t about race relations, nor Trayvon Martin or even Hurricane Katrina for that matter. It’s about trust. Do I trust you to help me off the island? If so, do you have my best interests at heart? Do I trust that you will you send a ship or allow me access to build my own ship?

And you were right Chuck, let’s not discredit that there are great police officers in all neighborhoods, but let’s not credit that we shouldn’t have doubt.

See you Thursday night!

Kenny Smith

Sunday, November 30, 2014

African Americans don't need black leaders to tell us when to be angry.

This is going to be short and sweet.

In the aftermath of the riots in Ferguson MO after the decision by a grand jury not to indict Darren Wilson many conservative/right wing talking heads blamed President Obama, Eric Holder, and Al Sharpton for the violence. In conservative minds those men somehow roused the whole black community to action and violence.

I'm sure all three are amazed that they have such sway over black minds. (I'm sure that President Obama is kicking himself in the ass for not using that power to make African Americans vote in the mid-term elections.)

I was surprised at this because the conservative theory seems to be based on a belief that we as black people don't get mad or angry unless a "black leader" tells us to. They seem to believe they in the deaths of Eric Garner or Michael Brown that we would have just shrugged our shoulders, and continued on with life if Al Sharpton didn't get involved.

Of course this theory ignores the fact that far too many of us (especially black men) have had bad experiences with the police. It ignores the fact that many of us are stopped are harassed by the police because we don't belong somewhere or the cop has a "hunch" about us. The fact that I have never been in trouble, am a former soldier and serve as an elected member of my local school board doesn't mean much when a cop decides I'm "suspicious". I will be stopped, detained, and harassed without so much as "Sorry for the inconvenience sir" when the cop decides that I'm clean. Imagine how that makes you feel about the police, you know the very guys/gals that are supposed to protect us.

Many black men know the tired lie cops tell of there being a B&E ( Breaking & Entering) in the area and that they or their car match the description. We all know that everyone of these BS stops can end up with us dead and the cop who killed us getting off because society holds them to a different standard and gives them a benefit of the doubt it would never give a black man.

So when we hear cases like those of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, or Tamir Rice we get mad, we get mad all on our own!

It's not the Al Sharpton's of the world that make us angry it's the JustUs system in this country that does. Fix that BS system and you wont hear from Al Sharpton again.

George L. Cook III

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Obama to Peaceful Ferguson Protesters: ‘Your President Will Work With You’

While making a speech in Chicago on immigration President Barack Obama took a few minutes to speak on the protest in Ferguson. Following up on his comments from the night before, the president urged any protests to be peaceful and said there is “no excuse” for the destructive violence seen last night. He also offered to work with peaceful protesters. Watch his statements below:

Lebron James weighs in on violence after Ferguson grand jury decision

[SOURCE] LeBron James said the decision not to indict Darren Wilson, the officer responsible for the shooting death of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, "hit home for me" and spoke out about the violent aftermath of the announcement Monday night.

"That's not the answer," James said Tuesday on reports of rioting in Ferguson. "What does that do? What does that actually do? Just hurt more families, hurt more people, draw more attention to things that shouldn't even be going on instead of people going to the family's household and praying with them. And saying, 'Things are going to be great.' You know, 'Mike Brown is in a better place now,' and 'Trayvon Martin is in a better place now.' That's where it should be. I mean, burning down things and shooting up things and running cars into places and stealing and stuff like that, what does that do? It doesn't make you happy."

James also said that the Brown case only touches on larger societal problems that must be addressed.

"I think that news itself, the issue is much bigger than that," James said. "It's not just one instance. It's not just Mike Brown or Trayvon Martin or anything that's going on in our society. I think it's much bigger than that. Like I said last night, violence is not the answer and retaliation is not the solution. My prayers and best wishes goes out to the families of anyone that loses a loved one, especially a kid today."

Monday, November 24, 2014

VIDEO: President Obama statement on Ferguson grand jury decision

President Obama makes statement on 11/24/2014 decision by grand jury in Michael Brown case. Watch video of that speech below:

Michael Brown family statement on Ferguson grand jury decision

"We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions.

While we understand that many others share our pain, we ask that you channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change. We need to work together to fix the system that allowed this to happen.

Join with us in our campaign to ensure that every police officer working the streets in this country wears a body camera.

We respectfully ask that you please keep your protests peaceful. Answering violence with violence is not the appropriate reaction.

Let's not just make noise, let's make a difference."

Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown, Sr.

Parents of Michael Brown, Jr.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Video: Obama, Don’t Use (Ferguson) Verdict as ‘Excuse for Violence’

As a grand jury debates whether or not to indict Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, President Barack Obama today — in an exclusive interview with ABC News — urged the residents of the city and all others to “keep protests peaceful.” Watch that excerpt below: