Perhaps more notably, no police officers in riot gear emerged Friday night when protesters arrived, a tactic that has drawn criticism.
Civil rights activists, religious leaders and others from around the US have converged on Ferguson, a mostly black community of about 21,000 people, to commemorate the life and death of 18-year-old Brown, who was unarmed when he was shot in a confrontation with a white police officer on August 9, 2014.
Now the city government, and the streets themselves, look much different. All three are black. New legislation has been passed, several officers have been arrested and charged with capital crimes, some have used less police patrols to commit more robberies and killings as police are at a quandary as to how to respond, not knowing if the public has their backs or not.
But other residents like Blake Ashby say the mayor was actually part of the new guard and is working to bring the city together. Furthermore, the business region at the focal point of a year ago’s challenges is slowly rebuilding.
“I think that there’s been some movement not almost enough”.
The daytime rally ahead of Sunday’s anniversary was peaceful and boisterous, with a children’s marching band bringing up the rear of the parade, but protesters appeared more confrontational later in the evening, with several jumping over a police barricade and facing off with police officers. “Everyone’s listening now”.
The U.S. Justice Department and a St. Louis County grand jury cleared Wilson, who resigned from the Ferguson Police Department in November, of wrongdoing.
Yet, some remain skeptical that any agreement reached by the Justice Department and Ferguson will lead to badly needed the systemic changes.
Nixon said that the commission had already accomplished a significant achievement by supporting a municipal court reform law passed by the state legislature this past spring. Elections in April saw an increase in the number of black members of the council. We can not be satisfied with just some steps forward.
But a few weeks later, Morris began looking to reopen. He declined to be specific about how authorities might handle them differently from last year, when police used tear gas, flash bangs and armored vehicles to control unrest. According to Wilson, Brown’s refusal to comply with his orders, Brown’s charging on Wilson’s position, and a struggle for Wilson’s firearm, resulted in his firing on Brown, killing him. He has publicly acknowledged that he hopes to be considered for the job permanently, and has implored the city’s populace to help him “set a course in the history books that clearly proves that peace prevails”.
Elzie said she’s also wonders whether the city’s hiring of a black interim police chief and a black interim city manager will lead to more than cosmetic changes.
“You can pull all these weeds out”, said Chris Phillips, a resident and filmmaker who lives in the Canfield Green Apartments where Brown was shot. “If you talk to people who live on West Florissant, that is still happening”.
Brown’s father said a lot of families in the St. Louis area and across the United States are hurting because they have lost loved ones to police violence. A permanent plaque in his memory was installed nearby.