#Ferguson: A Timeline of Events | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

#Ferguson: A Timeline of Events

Aug. 9: At about noon, Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African American high school graduate, was shot and killed by white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, 27, in the Canfield Green Apartment complex in Ferguson, Mo., in north St. Louis County. Before the shooting, Brown and his friend, Dorian Johnson, were videotaped at a convenience store on nearby West Florissant apparently stealing a handful of cigars. Wilson later testified before a grand jury that he was responding to another call when he encountered Brown and Johnson walking in the middle of the street impeding traffic.

Witness testimony varied widely. Wilson and some others said Brown, who did not have a weapon in his possession, assaulted the officer. Others, including Dorian Johnson, denied claims that there was a struggle for Wilson's gun. Most witnesses agreed, however, that Brown ran away from Wilson, but turned back toward him.

That's when Wilson fired several shots, hitting Brown with six, including two to the head. Brown's body lay in the street uncovered for more than four hours. Wilson went on paid administrative leave.

Aug. 10-13: St. Louis County police Chief Joe Belmar addressed the incident in a news conference even though the facts remained hazy. That evening, mourners held a peaceful gathering to remember Brown. After dark, several businesses on West Florissant were vandalized and looted. Over the next several nights, daily protests were met with a heavily militarized police presence, tear gas and rubber bullets. Many protesters were arrested and charged with destruction of property and other crimes.

Aug. 14: President Obama addressed the nation and urged calm and an "open and transparent" investigation into Brown's death. Gov. Jay Nixon announced that the Missouri Highway Patrol, led by Capt. Ron Johnson, would take over security in Ferguson. A night of demonstrations was nonviolent for the first time in days.

Aug. 15: For the first time, officials released Darren Wilson's name as the officer who killed Brown. Several activists from the Jackson area traveled to Ferguson to observe. Late that night, unprovoked, police threw flash grenades at peaceful protesters.

Aug. 16: A march led by the Rev. Jesse Jackson started in Canfield Green Apartments and went to a local church. At a press conference, Gov. Nixon declared a state of emergency and midnight curfew in Ferguson. Protesters left Ferguson and headed to nearby Dellwood, assuming the curfew would not be in effect. There, protesters clashed again with police.

Aug. 18: In response to the weekend unrest, Gov. Nixon called in the Missouri Army National Guard. President Obama dispatched outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder to monitor the situation in Ferguson.

Aug. 20: A grand jury began investigating the circumstances around Brown's shooting and considered criminal charges against Wilson.

Aug. 21: Gov. Nixon ordered the National Guard to begin withdrawing from Ferguson.

Aug. 25: Mike Brown's funeral took place at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in north St. Louis city.

Aug. 25-Oct. 14: Sporadic protests continued in Ferguson; police made some arrests.

Oct. 22: St. Louis Post-Dispatch published a leaked autopsy report the paper claimed supported Wilson's assertion that an altercation took place between Wilson and Brown in the officer's vehicle. A pathologist the paper interviewed later issued a statement saying that her report only indicated that findings were consistent with Wilson's claims and were not a definitive statement of what took place.

Nov. 17: In a preemptive move, Gov. Nixon declared a state of emergency a week ahead of the expected announcement of a grand jury's decision whether to indict Wilson in connection to Brown's death.

Nov. 24: St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch announced that a grand jury decided not to indict police officer Wilson for any crimes related to the fatal shooting of Brown. Protesters vandalized several Ferguson-area businesses in what was regarded as the most chaotic night of violence since Brown was killed.

Nov. 28: Protesters descended on three St. Louis-area malls, successfully shutting them down, in protest of the grand jury decision. Similar acts of disobedience around the nation followed.

Dec. 1: Students at Jackson State University staged their own hands-up protest and die-in, in which they lay on the ground mimicking the way that Mike Brown's body lay on the street. The die-in was at Gibbs-Green Plaza, where local police opened fire on anti-war protesters on May 15, 1970, killing JSU junior Phillip Lafayette Gibbs, 21, a junior, and James Earl Green, 17, a senior at nearby Jim Hill High School, and wounding 12. No officers were ever arrested or punished.

See the Jackson Free Press' and R.L. Nave's full archive of Ferguson-related stories at jfp.ms/ferguson where you can comment.

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