Ferguson One Year Later: What Has Changed?

By
US-POLICE-RACISM-UNREST
Photo: MICHAEL B. THOMAS

On August 9, 2014, police officer Darren Wilson fatally shot unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The incident sparked the Black Lives Matter movement and a new conversation on race and police brutality that is still simmering a year later. On the first anniversary of Brown’s death, journalists reflect on the changes that have occurred since the events in Ferguson.

  • Vox created a map chronicling the 1,091 people killed by police since August 9, 2014.
  • But Vox’s German Lopez writes, “But the trend is apparent: Black Lives Matter is winning. The notoriously slow American political system may take a while to reflect that, but it’s really happening.”
  • St. Louis Today’s editorial board writes: “ … One year later, the lesson of Ferguson must be one word: forward. That is the only direction we can go. As a region we must comb through the 200 recommendations of the Ferguson Commission and build on those ideas that resonate in disparate crowds, such as increasing police training and improving social mobility opportunities among the poor and middle classes.”
  • Using photographs to depict the changes that have occurred during the last year, the Huffington Post’s Aaron Barksdale and Christy Havranek conclude, “As a community rebuilds and markings of grief and anger fade, Ferguson’s streets and buildings may look unchanged. But as these 11 images show, they will never be the same.”
  • Huffington Post reporters Julia Craven, Ryan J. Reilly, and Mariah Stewart write, “The protests, in many ways, worked. Those abusive municipal court practices, which many residents said had fueled widespread disrespect for authority, are being reined in. And the outcry spread far beyond the Midwest. In many ways, the Ferguson protests changed America.”
  • Al Jazeera America’s Khaled A. Beydoun writes: “The post-race American myth was dismissed on Ferguson’s streets.”
  • On the The New Yorker’s recent Darren Wilson profile, the New York Times’ Charles M. Blow writes: “Wilson and his attorneys must have made the calculation that a profile would humanize and rehabilitate him in some way, that the image that emerged of an isolated man being rebuffed by reticent police forces and barraged by threats would be empathetic and restorative. That effort, it seems to me, has backfired.”
  • The Los Angeles Times’ Matt Pearce writes: “A year later, Brown’s death and the ensuing protests that engulfed the predominantly black St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo., have changed hundreds of lives and unleashed a national debate on race and policing that continues to dominate headlines today, while Ferguson quietly struggles forward.”
  • The Daily Beast’s John McWhorter writes: “The idea that Ferguson needs to teach America a lesson is a distraction anyway. At the end of day, getting cops to stop killing black people for no reason is a separate mission from getting white people to understand the nuances and power of racism.”
  • Time details the changes to policing and politics in Ferguson: “Thomas Jackson, the Ferguson Police Chief, resigned following a scathing federal report. He said the city needed ‘to move forward without any distractions.’ Other Ferguson police officers and city officials also resigned after the Justice Department report found they had sent racist emails.”
  • Yahoo News looks at what it’s like to be a black police officer in Ferguson.