tv Ferguson City Under Siege Al Jazeera June 21, 2020 12:32pm-1:01pm +03
a 14 day mandatory quarantine the land border with portugal will remain closed until the 1st of july at the request of lisbon spain has been one of the worst affected countries in europe voting is underway in serbia for europe's 1st parliamentary elections since it went into coronavirus lockdown 3 months ago opinion polls predict a win for president on xander which is progressive audie some opposition parties are boycotting they say the vote is a hoax and china's controversial new security law could be imposed on hong kong within weeks beijing's top legislative body has announced a 3 day session starting next sunday but has not specified if it is directly related to the proposal details of the law emerged saturday revealing mainland courts will have jurisdiction over certain national security crimes those are the headlines on al-jazeera coming up next year it's rewind stay with us. i'm counting the cost as economies can count losses increase government that's ahead in. the
mass back it's a record high. in reality plus the pandemic devastates indigenous communities across latin america. counting the cost of this era. hello and welcome again to rewind i'm elizabeth purana since we launched al-jazeera english more than a decade ago we've tackled many difficult and sensitive stories across the world today we rewind into august 2014 when the frontline series traveled to ferguson missouri and the midst of street on rest following the police shooting of
a young african-american michael brown was just 18 in a moment when he was shot by a white police officer after being stopped while walking with a friend and hours after the shooting the residents of this mostly black area of service and took to the streets to protest against the killing and to demand that the police officer should be named the police responded by flooding the area with armed officers and riot gear and military style equipment by the time night fell the streets of ferguson looked like a war zone it was the beginning of more than a week of street protests which divided public opinion in the united states and within days sebastian walker and his faultlines crew and ferguson to see for themselves the nature of both the uprising and the police response from force lines and august 2014 his 1st.
fergusson missouri. the spark for what would become daily street protests was the killing of an unarmed african-american teenager. in the days that followed the police responded to the demonstrations with massive force. such as it was 6 of course is the message you little kill if necessary. an autopsy would show the brown was shot at least 6 times twice in the head. he was the 4th black man to be killed in the united states by police in the span of a month the street protests and police tactics brought ferguson into the national and international spotlight things quickly spiral reports of gunshots fired from the crowd a state of emergency was declared the national guard was deployed and the u.s. attorney general launched a federal investigation into the killing fault lines i was in ferguson to witness how michael brown's killing sparked something bigger exposing tensions that had
been bubbling beneath the surface for years always the last. week. this is the area ferguson's residents are calling ground 0 the epicenter of the protests. when we arrived it was the 4th day in a row that people were marching on the street just a few blocks from where michael brown was shot. and. the police had still not released the name of the officer involved and people were angry they. mistrust. the police here runs deep. while moving 60 percent of ferguson's residents are black 50 out of its $53.00 police officers
a white. african-americans account for nearly 90 percent of police stops such as under arrest. the demonstrators made it clear they would remain peaceful and requested the police to do the same. or about how to. write their final back but for no reason that we could see the mood shifted very quickly. so the police are now bringing out these heavy armored vehicles you can see it's a lengthy truck this is something that's designed for basically conflict zones to fight in places like iraq and afghanistan this is an extraordinary display of force to be honest i mean these guys on to the team there's more riot police arriving
behind them this is a crowd of just a few 100 people and it's being completely peaceful the news our guys on top of these vehicles are actually training a high powered weapon examination the crowd. the police refused to explain why they needed such heavy weaponry. so genuine that bringing this equipment in fact some of you know want to bring in ahmed pickles. it wasn't hard to see why the crown would see the police presence as anything other than inflammatory. would you like. machine gun. you don't think that. is peace. here comes to be like this the last few days is me like this for years.
for years this kind of policing yes this is been like this for years. but the anger over the way police when handling the situation group. only. the police are saying we're going to leave the area we're going to get right back now from the police line the gas is coming down now. there's more gas coming over here. we're going to get out of here now. daschle firing canisters of gas at us as we're running away. calls a picture here i mean. this . is about as feeling nothing like her moses was driving down the stretch it was going to be a solid module every time our light you'll see i didn't know how innocent why do you think they started firing gas why they started firing them because they're
trying to get those this out all right all the time they're trying to think cold you know 1st the rights. when the. police are now using an orderly instrument to try to disperse the crowd this is a crowd control you can see the protesters are still in the streets and they're saying the lead not going anywhere. they seems like they're going flash bombs now because the explosions going off we're not quite sure what the police are far in but keep coming down to we're going to get out of here.
in a matter of hours on the streets of ferguson had gone from peaceful protest and calls for justice to scenes out of the conflict zone. there's a lot of places box favors a crowd here there's $10.00 to every word of explosions for black crash bang grenades another one. as the military vehicles advanced rubber bullets were fired. at so anyone on the streets including media was in the line of fire. off the days of launch really staying silent missouri's government finally showed up in ferguson promising changes. today i'm announcing that the missouri highway patrol under the supervision of captain ron johnson who grew up in this area will be directing the team that provides security and ferguson yeah governor
how many rigs plain and major of the presence that we saw on the streets yesterday i mean that was on personnel carriers about 100 police in military style uniform high powered rifles being trained on the crowd i mean who is in charge of making those decisions and on they're going to be held to account for mistakes that you clearly think have been made i think that. those yesterday and i just i do more small kevin johnson i appreciate this and the various of this responsibility looking forward meant to a new face for the police commander captain von jones who was born in the community . the scene on thursday was very different from the previous nights of take ason military vehicles this seems to be fewer police and those who were there and walked the streets with the protesters. the change in approach seems to lift the mood. but that atmosphere was short lived. the next morning
ferguson's police chief finally announced the name of darren wilson the officer who had killed michael brown but almost in the same breath he also released this video footage. it allegedly showed brown stealing cigars from a convenience store in an unrelated incident his grieving family was incensed. that here. the motives for releasing the video and its timing were immediately questioned did he know that he was a suspect in a case or did he not know and you know you say you. safety what it seems like the sort of budget office you say i'm going to read us they've been here michael brown's families beyond outraged at the devious ways the police chief has chosen to disseminate piecemeal information in a manner intended to assassinate the character of the sun was the response that we have given you everything that we have now and everything that we can give you so that's from from our police department we have you have all everything we've got
there's no doubt anybody out there sees actually the finding of the release of this video michael brown's family held an impromptu press conference outside the police station in response to something that people try to determine. what the real problem is condemning what they branded as an attempt to criminalize him and justify the officer's actions so whatever that took place there had nothing to do with an individual getting down on his hands and knees raising his hands in the air is saying don't shoot this is the universal call for eyes to render and i can hear my cousin's voice right now is that speech saying don't shoot. down at ground 0 later that evening news of the video's release had spread.
people and weak. but instead of trying to diffuse the tension by minimizing police presence the vehicles were out once again. it didn't take long before things started to happen. soon a small group started smashing store windows hey well there's looting starting now you see people i reckon it was like ok ok i get. this guy out of here. but then another group of young men quickly moved in to stop the looting y a y u. standing there. with susan. is a good. one as no lucille ball is loaded up with. that on the line. so the guys protecting the convenience store is saying that they blame the police
for inflaming the situation a pairing in this manner and the allman vehicles in the wind gary again and they say that's the reason why people got angry started looting stores going to go and try to speak to the police and also why they deployed like this off to everything that's happened. so the media. who's who who's in charge here what you need the commanding officer very neat you to speak the commanding officer a right here thank you. be the colliding officer no but we need you to get to a safe spot place we just we we've been spending time with the crowd and they're asking why the police deployed in this way with the armored vehicles and the military get if we stay there on a standing mission and i was going to be there trying to maintain state but why did you feel it's necessary to bring out the armored vehicles i mean we're talking there's a reason for talking you need to either go ahead where you after you want to be or don't talk is ringing when i can speak to the press also so i will and anyone
there's no media contact they were told not right now that's what sheriff we're down to. the state had promised a different approach. but the militarized response was back and no one could tell us why. meanwhile down the street the police continue to advancing on the protesters no going back to back the looting had stopped but it seemed like anger and distrust were growing once again started off. the 1st riots yeah. 43 it was a crime just pure emotion. herb i feel the way these kids door that these kids have no outlet and you want to know to choose. the prettiest. during the protests on the streets of ferguson we've met ronald and solomon. they'd be now demonstrating every night since the shooting.
they're from northern st louis county an area that includes ferguson and is predominantly african-american. their anger and frustration at the police ran deep as they day just all the harassment on date night she didn't you don't belong on her do the places you have got to strike the next black and male. 2 strikes all we had was mr blanco and we stretched out out in the middle of the street that's what people say you know you strikes you make a face at a cop strike 3 you're you going to jail facility where it's not just a perception of unfair treatment they have no connection to don't call julie in as police officers patrolling the area and enforcing the law all adult has proved his head of the local and double a.c.p. chapter which found a federal civil rights complaint against the st louis county police for disproportionately targeting blacks a young black kid can live in the urban area and when he leaves his house and any
lawful wall coy's going to work he's going to school he said to be stopped by police he says to be questioned he said today had to produce identification he said to be ran through the system as c.b.s. announced in the wants and the case in some cases that happen for no reason at all in autumn and even if they avoid the police these young men have stacked against them. the unemployment rate for african-americans in this county is 3 times that of whites st louis is the probably one of the most segregated communities in the country. both. racially and socioeconomically as african-american moving and whites move out and what happens also with that is some of the highest paying jobs so on the basis of living conditions go with it. among black males aged 16 to 24 no where near the unemployment rate has reached
nearly 50 percent who are coming back to losing hope what we have to bank on after school i went to college got medical if i wanted to be in the medical field i found out i had a felony guess why after i spent $20000.00 for nothing. i get my hands dirty war going on course not. because i'm a yoof feel like a bag of. what i'm pose to build. some or you're angry and you know you. so when people talk about. the anger that they they feel. it's not just about mournful smooth it's that it's about it's about life in general do you some people want to roll over and say we got older generation they just be like hey don't talk that hold he's like they still like them we want peace and crazy it was i don't know just be quiet just be quiet and i would have been
a freedom of speech wise my modify what happened in. the ferguson police department declined our repeated requests for an interview this is bigot in my ground he says bigoted trayvon martin this is about making sure does i have any again i don't pass a follows for many homes on fire with a bone and they have think i'm going to be able to get away with the with the guild auto maasai no easy jobs issue and i never happens. after moving 2 weeks of protests. on august 25th the community of ferguson came together for a day of mourning as michael brown's family laid their son to rest. the family who danced for calm.
it simpy to symmetry a crowd of family members and friends watched as michael brown's coffin was buried . as the mourners went home michael brown's mother said her final goodbyes to her son . i know that i can't be a proud but my crutch always had always got me a plot but my moment but you know what were you ever a policy young brother so i got nothing to write back and that's why they competed they are much better so that's of course they want to start us off so much for i think you hear me. the day after the funeral in
downtown st louis people gathered to announce the foundation of a new movement it's called hands up united states government well well well we've got executed with demonstrators here say they're going to march to the office of the u.s. attorney here in st louis and they're calling for an investigation a nationwide investigation of systematic police brutality. the u.s. department of justice later announced it was launching a broad civil rights investigation into the practices of the ferguson police department. separate from its investigation of the michael brown shooting. the for this group and the community they represent their underlying message is unlikely to change. their clothes for justice are bigger than just ferguson michael brown. they're about fighting to change
a system they say is stacked against them from. what. ferguson says he on the sage from the fault line series finally has already won a return to ferguson to see what a change and how far the community had managed to move on. award winning say you know we still make a chrysalis lives just a few meters from where mike brown was shot has a unique perspective on the divisions that remain in ferguson today. i've lived in ferguson in excess of 13 years. you know this is basically this was home for me but in this part of town this is where all of your social public
services are this is where your economic development is emphasizing this is predominately where or for the most part where most of your white residents stay. so as we go on to this overpass here that's going to be pretty much we're going to approach this intersection of ferguson avenue and west floors and that's where the big standoff between the people and the police were. you know it was pretty much a peaceful protest people were standing on the ground you know sitting on the ground people had their hands up. and it was just you know it was just a standoff in v.n. as the evening progressed and i got to around like 9 10 o'clock. that's when other activities kicked off. and that's the actual spot where the quake sure was and that got burned down so it's on the left here. but a lot of the businesses that are on this side of town. you know. haven't recovered or haven't rebuilt since what happened in 2014.
a dome 1st pruitt a prison name of a st lucie bring to the national association for the advancement of colored people . you know there's been some improvement the. state legislature did act you know then you have to lead then you have to do things like what the urban league is going on the site were quick troop was the things they do want to deal with unemployment meals and giving them the training and given the background you know those are improvement but at the end of the day is equivalent to a prison in the ocean trying to call the police. the racial make a dent. police department many of them have sustained dramatically well well well well well frankly. most of the significant and.
we have keyed in this country as relates to the civil rights advancements the vandeman joining them happen to do the legislature a do 2 chords and so. that we get in the day that have been those could not have happened without to protest the willing to sacrifice themselves because they in a day the brutality that they suffer and which we took to the courts and gun free will ruin somebody's head to head to be on the receiving end in. you know when i look at where his body is right and my apartment was right around the corner here right so this spot in the pavement right here on this patch of pavement this is where his body lay after he was shot 6 times this is where they said they turned around and stands up and then for 4 and a half hours his body laid out in d.c. so he laid out here and cooked for that amount of time and so really
a lot of the crowd presence to happen was not necessarily because somebody mislead a shot of course people are here because of that but being out here one hour 2 hours 3 hours and the body still appear for a portion of that time it wasn't even covered up is very horrific it's very shocking the images in the video started splitting towards social media and so when the police talk about their response as far as the crowd and how that happened they're responding to a crowd because you left a body here for 4 and a half hours and what we know being here in missouri in a lot of other places across the country is this would not happen in white communities. well that's it from join us again next time and there check out our rewind page at al-jazeera dot com for more films from the series but for now goodbye.
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