Dan Gilmore / August 10, 2015

Anniversary of Michael Brown Shooting Ends in Violence

A man opened fire on a group of plainclothes police officers.

A year ago in Ferguson, Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown and sparked weeks of protests that were more about rioting and looting than justice. The windows of small businesses were smashed and stores looted. Unrest ruled the nights. Police showed up in military garb and clouded the streets of the St. Louis suburb with tear gas. Despite a grand jury clearing Wilson, ruling the shooting justified self-defense, the incident sparked the “hands up, don’t shoot” movement. The myth gained the sympathy of a vast swath of the media landscape and liberals like Barack Obama. Ferguson marked the anniversary of the shooting Sunday, but the remembrance with its four-and-a-half minutes of silence and doves was shattered when a man opened fire on a group of plainclothes police officers. The police returned fire, critically injuring the man. Businesses were vandalized. A glass bottle was thrown at police. Officers responded by showing up in riot gear. What happened to that year of activism, of protest for a better relationship between police and the policed? The Department of Justice can’t swoop in and change the situation in Ferguson, no matter how many investigations they start. A community reaps what it sows.

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