michael brown, an unarmed black teenager, was fatally shot by a white, male police officer saturday in ferguson, missouri. according to two men who witnessed the murder, brown had his hands raised when the officer approached him with his weapon drawn and fired repeatedly.
the fbi opened an investigation on monday into the tragic death of the 18 year-old brown. ferguson is a 21,000 resident suburb of st. louis, and nearly 70% black. authorities were vague about what led to the shooting. investigators have refused to publicly disclose the race of the officer, who is now on administrative leave.
phillip walker said he was on the porch of an apartment complex overlooking the scene when he heard a shot and saw a white officer with brown on the street. walker told the associated press brown "was giving up in the sense of raising his arms and being subdued." he said the officer "had his gun raised and started shooting...stood over him and shot him."
dorian johnson told walb-tv he and brown were walking home from a convenience store when a police officer told them to get out of the street and onto the sidewalk. johnson said they kept walking, and he believes this prompted the officer to confront them once more after getting out of his car.
johnson said the first time the officer fired, he and brown got scared and ran away. johnson said, "he shot again, and once my friend felt that shot, he turned around and put his hands in the air, and he started to get down. but the officer still approached with his weapon drawn and fired more shots. we wasn't causing harm to nobody. we had no weapons at all."
brown's father, michael brown, visited the shooting site monday afternoon. he abruptly left after gunshots rang out a block away. brown's mother, lesley mcspadden, said she did not understand why police did not subdue her son with a club or stun gun. she said, "i would like to see him go to jail with the death penalty."
the killing drew criticism, ire and pain from some civil rights leaders. they immediately referred to the 2012 racially charged shooting in florida of 17 year-old trayvon martin - an unarmed black male - by george zimmerman, who was acquitted of murder charges by a predominantly white jury under the state's controversial stand your ground laws.
brown's family planned to speak publicly later monday with their attorney, benjamin crump, who also represented the martin family. john gaskin, who serves on both the st. louis county and national boards of directors for the naacp, said the group was "outraged because yet again a young african-american man has been killed by law enforcement."
- mark j. tuggle
- harlem, usa
- same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. firstname.lastname@example.org.