Ferguson through the lenses of educational inequality, political disenfranchisement, economic inequality, and the criminal justice system.
Ferguson, Missouri has emerged as the site of the most disturbing display of racial tension, political powerlessness, and police violence in recent memory. The fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, was yet another tragic incident in a spate police-involved homicides in 2014.
Ferguson’s history of economic exclusion, disenfranchisement, segregation and poverty helped create a political system in which African Americans are grossly underrepresented in local government as well as an environment in which protesters and journalists from around the country were met with tear gas, rubber bullets, assault rifles, Kevlar vests, and military tanks as they bore witness to, and reported on, the aftermath of Michael Brown’s killing.
This briefing paper aims to put Ferguson in focus by opening a window into the political, social, and economic conditions surrounding the life of Michael Brown. The report will look at Ferguson through the lenses of educational inequality, political disenfranchisement, economic inequality, and the criminal justice system – areas in which LDF has historically rooted its advocacy in support of African-American and other marginalized communities.