Michael Brown

Recent Articles

Ferguson: Are you surprised by the grand jury verdict?

When Bob McCulloch, prosecutor for St. Louis County, MO. read his prepared “No indictment” statement regarding Officer Darren Wilson, he confirmed what we longtime fighters in the civil rights struggle saw coming: no indictment of Wilson for his August 9, 2014, Ferguson, MO, shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. We have received “no indictment” signals for two months. McCulloch presented what the legal profession calls a balanced lie, common not only in racial problems but also in the use of police stops and arrests to tax the poor with fees and fines, in a town 60 percent Black but with an all-White city council and only three African Americans on the police force. Continue Reading →

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Ferguson, MO case proves criminal justice system is morally bankrupt

By Luke Tripp

Guest Commentator

To understand why the grand jury in Missouri failed to indict Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed Black teenager, we need know a little legal history: Dred Scott v. Sanford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857), was a landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. In Dred Scott v. Sanford, Supreme Court judges considered this key question: Did the citizenship rights guaranteed by the Constitution apply to African Americans? The Supreme Court decided the case by a 7 to 2 decision that Black people were not American citizens. They reasoned that people of African ancestry had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order and altogether unfit to associate with the White race, either in social or political relations — and so far inferior that they had no rights which the White man was bound to respect. This decision continues to be the guiding constitutional principle of the legal system in the U.S. The grand jury’s decision in Missouri is evidence that the criminal justice system (CJS) is morally bankrupt. Continue Reading →

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A White man’s reaction to Ferguson, and an important Thanksgiving message

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Alan Fine

Guest Commentator

My name is Alan Fine. I was a candidate for U.S. Congress in 2006. I have been a faculty member at the Carlson School of Management for nearly 20 years now. For six summer over the past 15 years, I have had the opportunity to teach many disadvantaged minority students entrepreneurship at the Carlson School (most of which have been people of color) through the “Lead Program” sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and through the jEM program housed within the department of Business Community and Economic Development at the University of Minnesota. In reflecting upon Ferguson, when I saw the prosecutor lay out the case in favor of Officer Wilson, I thought that it plainly revealed that Officer Wilson clearly acted in self-defense. Continue Reading →

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BLACK CAUCUS DISCUSSES STRATEGIES FOR DFL ACCOUNTABILITY

Community members want more than talk — they’re ready for action
 
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

All DFL candidates should “represent” Black issues, says a member of the DFL African American Caucus, one of 14 recognized special-interest groups by the Minnesota DFL Party. The group meets on the third Saturday of each month. However, according to Hollis Winston, who joined the Black caucus nearly two years ago and was elected treasurer last year, most Black Minnesotans who tend to vote Democratic in local, state and national elections are too often taken for granted. Hollis says the group must be more visible and expand its membership base, especially among community folk. “Now that I have gotten involved, more and more I am realizing we need to connect with the African American community, all African Americans — not just the professional class or the middle class.”

Last week’s open meeting at the Lowry Library was attended by 30 persons who listed education, law enforcement and economic development as three key issues of concern. Continue Reading →

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A racist policeman reminded Blacks of their worth in America

By Willie Johnson

Guest Commentator

 

The American dream, is a dream rooted in every Black and White person. The events that have unfolded in Ferguson, MO show the people of America and the world that we have a long way to go when it comes to race relationships. If the powers that be in Ferguson, MO truly want justice, then arrest the accused officer that shot Michael Brown. I am sure that will deflate a lot of the tension. When are we going to stop letting racist police set back our humanity and make it seem like a crime when Black people ask for justice. Continue Reading →

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Mike Brown is laid to rest

News Analysis

By Mel Reeves

Contributing Writer

 

The MSR sent writer Mel Reeves to Ferguson, Missouri to personally observe and report on the aftermath of unrest there following an incident of police violence that left a young Black man dead and triggered an outbreak of protests and rioting. Beginning this week, Reeves provides a journal of his observations and conversations with local people about what has happened there and what the future portends. 

 
Dispatches from Ferguson
 
FERGUSON, MO — At 10 am on Monday, August 25, the time of the Michael Brown funeral, it was very hot, around 97 degrees and humid. The press was out in full force, and folks could barely get into the Friendly Temple church without nearly being assaulted by the media, which clearly were trying hard to find a different angle on grief. For those who may have somehow missed the unfolding of this tragic story, shortly after noon on Saturday, August 9, an unarmed Michael Brown Jr. was shot and killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. A candlelight vigil that turned violent was followed by two weeks of rioting, looting, and street battles with police and National Guard troops along with some peaceful protests and continuing disclosures of the longstanding racial tensions in this mostly Black community governed by mostly White elected officials. Continue Reading →

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Police violence against Blacks incites unrest nationwide

It has happened here. Could it happen again?  Police won’t say. News Analysis
By Isaac Peterson

Contributing Writer

 

Last year, long before most people had heard of Ferguson, Missouri, the United States Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, in essence declaring that racism in the United States had ended. Fast-forward more than a year and Ferguson resembles nothing more than a warzone after the protests over the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer. Continue Reading →

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Ferguson, MO: an American race tragedy, again. Conflicting versions with parallels to Minneapolis

Michael Brown, August 9, 2014, 18 years old, to start college in two days, unarmed. Instead: stopped by police while walking on a Ferguson, MO street, suburb of St. Louis, he was shot and killed. Rioting, burning, and looting followed: “…like a war zone.”

The police version differs greatly from community eye witnesses, suggesting blinded justice, promising but unable to see how to deliver a police investigation with truth and transparency. Will the FBI and Department of Justice have the same problem? Continue Reading →

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Nine hundred complaints disappear

Only 16 cases under investigation
 

The Police Misconduct Board operates under the custody and control of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department. The Police Misconduct Board has hired a significant number of attorneys over the last year. They receive a nice stipend to review and make determinations regarding allegations of police misconduct. Observers as well as workers in City Hall want to know why, under Michael Brown, 900 police complaints, going back several years, have now been jettisoned with no more than 16 active investigations. Police officers call this “bait and switch” and unidentified “Xs and Os.”

Nine hundred complaints have been passed through a shredder. Continue Reading →

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Chief Harteau announces dialogue — A public dialogue? Really?

 

 

The last time we were with you, we were talking about the racism travel brochure of the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD), including stops in Minneapolis, Green Bay, Wisconsin and Apple Valley, Minnesota. Let’s hope for the future of the chief that we don’t have any more MPD racism travelogue stops. The chief indicated to local White media that she is embarking on a dialogue about MPD problems of racism (Star Tribune, August 2, “Chief Harteau calls for dialogue following racial incidents”). The Minneapolis Police Federation, under its President, Lt. John Delmonico, has stated clearly that the federation must also be at the table. I concur. Continue Reading →

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