The shooting of Michael Brown occurred August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. Brown, an 18-year-old black man, was fatally shot by Darren Wilson, 28, a white Ferguson police officer. The disputed circumstances of the shooting and the resultant protests and civil unrest received considerable attention in the U.S. and abroad, and have sparked debate about law enforcement's relationship with African Americans and police use of force doctrine.
Brown and his friend Dorian Johnson were walking down the middle of the street, when Wilson drove up and told them to move to the sidewalk. An altercation ensued with Brown and Wilson struggling through the window of the police vehicle until Wilson's gun was fired. Brown and Johnson then fled in different directions, with Wilson in pursuit of Brown — Wilson eventually firing several more times. In the entire altercation Wilson fired a total of twelve shots, Brown being hit by seven or eight (all from the front) with the last probably being the fatal shot. Witness reports differ as to whether and when Brown had his hands raised, and whether he was moving toward Wilson when the final shots were fired.
The shooting sparked unrest in Ferguson, in part due to the belief among many that Brown was surrendering, as well as longstanding racial tensions between the majority-black Ferguson community and the majority-white city government and police. Protests, both peaceful and violent, along with vandalism and looting, continued for more than a week, resulting in night curfews. The response of area police agencies in dealing with the protests received significant criticism from the media and politicians. There were concerns over insensitivity, tactics and a militarized response. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon ordered local police organizations to cede much of their authority to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Mainly peaceful protests continued for several weeks.
A few days after the...