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Black Lives and Spatial MattersPolicing Blackness and Practicing Freedom in Suburban St. Louis$
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Jodi Rios

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501750465

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501750465.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Cornell University Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.cornell.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Cornell University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in Cornell for personal use. date: 17 September 2021

Interlude

Interlude

A Day in August

Chapter:
(p.156) Interlude
Source:
Black Lives and Spatial Matters
Author(s):

Jodi Rios

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501750465.003.0007

This interlude details the death of eighteen-year-old Michael Brown Jr., who was shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on August 9, 2014. Several witnesses of the shooting claim that Brown had had his hands above his head at the time he was shot. For over an hour, Brown remained uncovered with an increasing trail of blood moving down the street as his body bled out. As time went on, more people began arriving at the scene from across the St. Louis region, as did law enforcement officials. The Ferguson and St. Louis County police departments struggled to secure the area, and many people later reported that it was unclear who was in charge. Continued protests, arrests, and militarized police responses, which included repeated use of tear gas and the firing of rubber bullets into the crowd, escalated over the following days. Many people who witnessed Brown in the street recalled specific ways in which the image of his body conveyed their own vulnerability—as people out of place. Most viewed his death as a lynching. Residents also spoke of a disturbing irony they had long felt but saw play out before them on that day: their experience of being targeted, harassed, and regarded as less than human by those who simultaneously practice a most extreme inhumanity.

Keywords:   Michael Brown Jr., Darren Wilson, shooting, St. Louis region, Ferguson police department, St. Louis County police department, protests, inhumanity

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