What we know about Ferguson
Events are unfolding at a rapid pace in Ferguson, Missouri. The city has been in turmoil since August 9, when a white city police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, in the middle of a street. Protesters and law enforcement officers have clashed in the streets.
Here are the latest developments for Tuesday:
Another night of violence
Once again, peaceful protests gave way to angry confrontations with police late Monday night into early Tuesday. After a handful of protesters threw rocks, bottles and Molotov cocktails, security forces responded with tear gas and stun grenades. Most of the demonstrators, however, were trying to keep the peace. Police said they arrested 31 people, some of whom came from as far away as New York and California.
The situation remains so unstable that the Ferguson-Florissant School District said it is canceling classes for the rest of the week,
A grand jury could begin to hear testimony from witnesses and decide whether to return an indictment against Darren Wilson, the police officer who killed Brown.
Letter of empathy
Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, penned an open letter to Brown’s parents in which she hopes their sons’ deaths won’t be in vain. “We will no longer be ignored,” she writes in the letter published in Time magazine.
WHAT HAS HAPPENED SO FAR
St. Louis County police are looking into Brown’s shooting. President Obama has the Justice Department, including the FBI, looking into the case as well.
The police officer
Darren Wilson, 28, who has six years on the force with no disciplinary issues on his record, is on paid administrative leave. If he returns to duty, he would have to undergo two psychological evaluations, authorities said. He was briefly taken to the hospital after the confrontation with Brown for treatment of an injury that left his face swollen, according to the Ferguson police chief.
Michael Brown’s family
They’ve hired lawyers and expressed outrage at how the police have handled things, including Friday’s simultaneous release of the officer’s name and surveillance video from the day of the shooting that showed a man identified in police documents as Brown roughing up a convenience store clerk while purportedly stealing cigars. The family and critics of the department have accused police of trying to damage Brown’s character.