The shooting of Michael Brown occurred on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. Brown, an 18-year-old man, was fatally shot by Darren Wilson, 28, a Ferguson police officer. The disputed circumstances of the shooting and the resultant protests and civil unrest received considerable attention in the U.S. and abroad, and have sparked debate about law enforcement’s relationship with African-Americans and police use of force doctrine.

Shortly before the shooting, Brown stole several cigarillos and shoved a store clerk at a nearby convenience store. Wilson had been notified by police dispatch of the robbery and the suspect’s description. He encountered Brown and Dorian Johnson as they were walking down the middle of the street blocking traffic, though it is unclear when or if Wilson associated the robbery suspect descriptions with the two men.[disputed ]  When Brown and Johnson refused Wilson’s order to move to the sidewalk, Wilson backed up his cruiser and blocked them. Wilson in pursuit of Brown eventually fired at him several times. In the entire altercation, Wilson fired a total of twelve rounds;[5] Brown was hit seven or eight times, all from the front,[6] and the last was probably the fatal shot. Witness reports differed as to whether and when Brown had his hands raised, and whether he was moving toward Wilson when the final shots were fired.

The shooting sparked unrest in Ferguson, in part due to the belief among many that Brown was surrendering, as well as longstanding racial tensions between the majority-black population and the majority-white city government and police. Protests, both peaceful and violent, along with vandalism and looting, continued for more than a week, resulting in night curfews. The response of area police agencies in dealing with the protests received significant criticism from the media and politicians. There were concerns over insensitivity, tactics and a militarized response. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon ordered local police organizations to cede much of their authority to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Mainly peaceful protests continued for several weeks.


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