Tuesday, November 09, 2021

"Ferguson Rises": documentary reflection on the site of a major police shooting seven years ago while Obama was president

Michael Brown shooting scene

 

On Monday November 8, 2021 many PBS Independent Lens stations (like WETA) aired the documentary by Mobolaji Olambiwonnu, “Ferguson Rises” (Philmco), 82 min – an unusually (for PBS IL) intense film where the residents of Frtguson, MO, especially Michael Brown Sr., cope with the catastrophe on Aug. 9, 2014.

The main PBS link is this.

The details of the incident, as best reported, are troubling. Visitors can go to the Wikipedia article to get as objective an account of the facts as possible.  

Michael Brown was indeed unarmed.  But it appears that he engaged officer Darren Wilson in a bizarre encounter at Wilson’s vehicle.  That certainly contributes to the lack of indictment.

Many other cases of police misconduct since then (most of all George Floyd’s, but even Freddie Gray’s in Baltimore in 2015) seem to me, at least, to justify the outrage more.

The destructiveness of the rioting to local businesses was quite striking.

Officer Darren Wilson’s life seems to have been “canceled” despite the lack of formal charges.  The film makes a lot of the “rosy cheek” thing.

In retrospect, it seems remarkable that this incident happened (pre-Trump) while Obama was president (as did Baltimore and as had Treyvon Martin). Having a (wealthy) black president did not prevent this.  A president Oprah could not have prevented it.

The documentary makes the point that police harassment of minority residents for minor infractions had been a source of easy revenue for the town, and that the police force was mostly white.

Wikipedia embed picture of police durinf protests, CCSA 4,0, click for attribution.

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