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Racism & Police Violence in America The Shooting of Michael Brown & Subsequent Events in Ferguson, Mo.

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Presentation on theme: "Racism & Police Violence in America The Shooting of Michael Brown & Subsequent Events in Ferguson, Mo."— Presentation transcript:

1 Racism & Police Violence in America The Shooting of Michael Brown & Subsequent Events in Ferguson, Mo.

2 Michael Brown August 9, 2014: an 18 year-old black teenager named Michael Brown is shot and killed by Darren Wilson, a white police officer, in Ferguson, Missouri. specific details of the incident are not clear - some eyewitnesses say Brown was shot while attempting to surrender, others say there was a scuffle with the officer however, what’s clear is that Brown was unarmed and initially stopped by the officer for jaywalking

3 The Aftermath in the days following the shooting, the community of Ferguson took to the streets to protest though much of the protest was peaceful, there were at times violent clashes between protesters and police the police presence was heavily militarized

4 The Aftermath In an arguably unprecedented move, Amnesty International sent a team of observers to Ferguson in August. The team documented numerous human rights abuses, including excessive force and the use of tear gas. 28846743A%2Fplaylist.sxml&title=Ferguson%20protests%3A%20Amnesty%20accuses%20police%20on%20human%20rights&product=news 28846743A%2Fplaylist.sxml&title=Ferguson%20protests%3A%20Amnesty%20accuses%20police%20on%20human%20rights&product=news"

5 Placing the Brown Shooting in Context “The excessive use of force by law enforcement officials against racial and ethnic minorities is an ongoing issue of concern and particularly in light of the shooting of Michael Brown… This is not an isolated event and illustrates a bigger problem in the United States, such as racial bias among law enforcement officials, the lack of proper implementation of rules and regulations governing the use of force, and the inadequacy of training of law enforcement officials.” Noureddine Amir Vice Chairman UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Press Conference, August 29, 2014

6 Placing the Brown Shooting in Context: Statistics on Racial Bias while 67% of Ferguson residents are black, only 6% of the police force is African-American African-Americans made up 86 percent of police stops, 92 percent of searches, and 93 percent of arrests by Ferguson police in 2013 across the US, white officers kill black suspects twice a week in the United States, or an average of 96 times a year [FBI Statistics]

7 Relevance of History to the Present If we want to look at the recent events in Ferguson, Mo. we need to look at the historical background as well: slavery Jim Crow laws redlining “More than 240 years of slavery and 90 years of legal segregation in this country have created a legacy of racialized policing.” - Nusrat Choudhury, ACLU

8 Ongoing Investigations St. Louis County Grand Jury is currently deliberating and will decide whether to indict Darren Wilson, the officer who killed Brown State of Missouri has launched the Ferguson Commission to look into the issues surrounding the shooting and subsequent unrest Federal Department of Justice investigating Ferguson PD for possible civil rights violations

9 What is the link between Ferguson and Peace? Article 1 of UNCERD talks about explicitly prohibiting racial discrimination. What does this mean for the US? Is it enough for the state to carry out its duties only and become involved only after an instance of racial discrimination had occurred or is there actually more at stake that would require the state to engage?

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