Exactly three weeks after the shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown, his parents and hundreds of other people converged on the streets of St. Louis to commemorate the young man.
On August 30th, the crowd led by Brown’s family peacefully made their way down Canfield Drive to the exact spot where Brown was shot. Prayers were publicly sung by Rev. Spencer Booker of St. Louis’ St. Paul A.M.E Church and a Muslim clergy member. The crowd remembered Brown’s life with cards, flowers, and candles.
Spurred by the remembrance of a seemingly innocent man, hundreds of protesters united in front of the police department and fire station, purposely blocking the road and making their demands heard as the makeshift memorial continued. The crowd diminished in size by the late afternoon, so no police action was necessary at the event.
The Ferguson community is intent on keeping this issue alive. They demand the attention of the nation and, more precisely, Obama to make a change in the country’s police force and their policy regarding the protection and well being of citizens. The actions previously taken to suppress riots weren’t taken lightly by the groups and now a change is ordered.
“I have treated patients of police brutality too often. It has become a common occurrence that police abuse their power and sometimes lie about the situation.” said former ER General Doctor Roderick Pujols.
The smoke bombs, stun grenades and tear gas used to disperse the crowd had lasting effects on the protest members both physically or psychologically; many participants were traumatized with such actions.
As former Doctor Pujols states “tear gas does have a permanent effect on your eyes because more often than not it can cause things like cornea lacerations/damage”.
Now the people of Ferguson are working towards amending the policies and morals of policemen nationwide.
Despite recent turmoil and protests, Ferguson is now recovering from previous riots and the vandalizing of neighborhood stores. Many have decided to board up windows and hang “Open for Business” signs, yet many think the community will never be the same again.
Ferguson is recovering. Vandalizing, once a concern, is now a memory, and people display support signs on their yard depicting the words “Black Lives Matter” and “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot. #Justice4MikeBrown”. Parents who were afraid to go outside with their kids have started taking their leisurely strolls again. Neighborhood spirit is kept alive at a nearly destroyed barbecue joint, where barbecues are now held outside for all to enjoy. With willpower and a little help from former Mayor Brian Fletcher’s group “Friends of the City of Ferguson” – which has raised more than $13,000 to help rebuild businesses – Ferguson is on its way to recovery.