By Eric L. Wesson Sr.
CALL Staff Writer
FERGUSON, Mo. – I was in Ferguson, Mo., last week-end. As I drove into the Historic Downtown Ferguson it looked like a modern downtown Mayberry.
Clearly renovations are taking place at City Hall, Municipal Court and the Police station. Renovations are already complete on the strip malls that line North Florissant road and University Blvd.
However, things change as one makes that right onto Church street and winds up on the main drag of East Ferguson on West Florissant avenue where peaceful protests take place during the day that take a violent turn almost every night since August 9.
“Hands Up, Don’t Shoot”, “Hands Up Don’t Shoot”, are the chants you hear from blocks away from what is being called, “Ground Zero”, the Quik Trip store that was looted and burned down the first night of the protests in Ferguson. Protestors have the hand and arms raised above their heads.
Michael Brown, 18, was shot at least six times by a white police officer. Witness accounts vary, but the common theme is that Brown had surrendered and had his hands raised as he was shot and killed by Ferguson Police officer, Darren Wilson, who shot and killed Brown on August 9.
The focal point of the protests have centered around Brown but the underlying issue is the racial unrest in the City that has been festering for decades and has finally come to the surface not just for Ferguson, but possibly St. Louis as a whole.
There are 21,000 people living in the “Sundown” town that has a black population of about 67 percent with close to 52 percent of the black population, in East Ferguson, living at or below the state’s poverty level, according to the 2010 Census.
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