The St. Louis suburb of Ferguson has been in the news for weeks after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown. His death has ignited a widespread debate regarding civil rights in the United States, as well as heated discussions over police militarization during protest situations. The residents of the small city were thrust into the mainstream media spotlight as they challenged racial discrimination and the ability to freely assemble.
The investigation of the shooting continues. But Ferguson has not just lost Michael Brown; many feel they have also lost their respect and humanity.
In this special from St. Louis Public Radio, NPR's Michel Martin (formerly of Tell Me More) moderates a panel of community figures at Ferguson's Wellspring Church including:
- Daniel Isom, retired St. Louis police chief and current professor of policing and the community at UMSL
- Rita Days, former Missouri state senator and current Democratic director of the St. Louis County Election Board
- The Rev. Willis Johnson, pastor of Wellspring Church, Ferguson
- James Knowles, mayor of Ferguson
- Kimberly McKinney, CEO of Habitat for Humanity, St. Louis
The two-hour discussion was bolstered by frequent questions from the audience about race, law enforcement, the events surrounding Brown's death, and more.
You can also revisit WNYC's coverage of the events in Ferguson:
- The Takeaway: An entire hour dedicated to exploring how black and white communities are responding to the death of Michael Brown.
- The Brian Lehrer Show: Ryan Reilly of the Huffington Post reports on the latest street protests and police response. And Peniel Joseph of Tufts University discusses the parallels between protests in Ferguson and other demonstrations throughout history.
- Leonard Lopate: Kara Dansky of the ACLU discusses the militarization of American police departments.
As you listen to this special, please feel free to add to the discussion in the comments section below.