2 policemen shot at in Ferguson

Police shine a light on and photograph a helmet as they investigate the scene where two police officers were shot outside the Ferguson Police Department ON Thursday, March 12, 2015, in Ferguson.  

The continuing saga of racial tension in Ferguson, Missouri, appeared to take a turn for the worse this week when two police officers were shot following a night of protests steps away from the police department.

According to reports one officer was shot in the shoulder and another in the face, scarcely days after news emerged that the Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson had resigned following the release of a scathing Department of Justice (DOJ) report on racial discrimination by law enforcement.

The otherwise quiet suburb of Ferguson has been rocked by escalating civil unrest since the August 9, 2014, shooting of an unarmed teenager by a police officer, which then led to a violent crackdown by police and anti-riot forces including on the media. In November waves of protests once again gripped Ferguson after a grand jury returned a verdict to not indict police officer Darren Wilson, who fired at least six bullets at, including two to the head of, Michael Brown (18).

Although, after the DOJ’s investigation into the shooting, Attorney General Eric Holder decided not to charge Mr. Wilson, the report found that bias against African-Americans in Ferguson was “routine and thorough, affecting nearly every aspect of Ferguson police and court operations… [For the African-American community] distrust and fear of the police was well-founded.”

Call for better training

The DOJ went on to demand substantial change in the Ferguson police department, including additional sensitivity training for officers and a ban on ticketing and arrest quotas that targeted African-Americans.

This week peaceful protests in the St. Louis suburb had moved near the location of the police department, where an as yet unidentified shooter fired at the police on the scene.

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar told reporters that the shooting might result in spiking tensions in the city adding that the protests had created conditions for violence. “I’ve said all along that we cannot sustain this forever without problems,” he said.

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Printable version | Sep 16, 2021 2:14:03 AM |

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