It’s been two years since the shooting death of unarmed Black teen Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri by police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9, 2014. Brown’s death spawned #HandsUpDontShoot movement as well as nights of violent protests in the city that saw a militarized police force confront citizens as Black Lives Matter began to form. Last nigh,t during a peaceful rally, senseless violence erupted.
A group of residents were standing on busy West Florissant Avenue when a speeding car struck a member of the group identified as Jacoby Thomas. The impact was so powerful Thomas was sent flying through the air then rolled and bounced in the street as the shocked crowd screamed in horror. Moments after the accident, gunfire rang out; fortunately, no person was hit, according to police. A short time later, police were able to stop the as of yet unidentified female driver. The driver stated that she did not see the man standing in the road when she struck him with her car. According to Ferguson spokesman Jeff Small, “By all accounts, her version of what happened seems to fit the version of what happened to a person driving down a busy West Florissant Avenue and not seeing a person standing there.”
There were scattered protests throughout the city, including Canfield Drive where Mike Brown was killed. Multiple persons described a night of chaos that saw at least one person in a wheelchair tasered by police. Tension in the city and mistrust against the police still continue as systemic injustice was exposed by a report by the Department of Justice. Michael Brown Sr. reflected on his son’s death and stated to media, “My son built families up, opened the eyes of the world and let them know this ain’t right. This color is not a disease. This color is beautiful. Black is beautiful.”