“I do not feel represented,” he repeated like a mantra Thursday Etoya Dickerson, a black twenties protesting against the police station of Ferguson’s death on Saturday of a young African American by shooting of a policeman. Dickerson’s words and those of other residents of this poor town outside St. Louis (Missouri), in the Midwestern United States, evidence of rejection and alienation of many of the black neighbors, which account for two -thirds with their political representatives and police officers, who are mostly white.
Brown’s death has been the spark that has released a fury long entrenched in much of the black community in the city, accusing the police often racially motivated act. According to a report by the Missouri Attorney General on the activities of 2013, the police stopped and arrested Ferguson black drivers nearly twice as often as whites. It is a common set of disparity in the USA. Of the total number of detainees in the country in 2012, 28.1% were black, according to the FBI. A ratio that doubles its demographic weight (13.1%).
The event has mobilized some of the residents who suffer a great helplessness and outrage in the largest racial protests in the city since 1917, African Americans accounted for 67 % of the population of Ferguson, but only 5.7% of the force police (three of 53 agents). In towns of similar size, the average white cops is 87.5%, according to the Department of Justice. Ferguson Police is committed to strive to hire staff and other minorities closer to the African American community, but insisted that their selection process is based on technical assessments.
Furthermore, only one of six town councilors are African American. The city has not had a black mayor in the last election and the turnout was low. ” So we could organize politically, we first need economic power and that’s frustrating,” Dickerson argued protester.
Five days after the death of Michael Brown, 18, the event is still surrounded by uncertainties and anger has not abated in the streets of this town of 21,000 people 15 miles north of downtown San Luis. The Missouri Highway Patrol said Thursday that relieve the County in monitoring demonstrations to prevent the riots grow. The decision is important because the charge of leading the deployment is African American and it means a conciliatory gesture, as the county police has been criticized by aggressiveness and military aesthetics.
Police say Saturday lunchtime Brown was shot by an agent after this what ” attack ” and will struggle to wrest the gun. The guy who was with Brown at the time of the event says that did not happen and it reached up to the orders of the agent, who then opened fire. The police refuse to reveal the identity of the agent on security grounds, but on Thursday the hacker group Anonymous published the assumed name.
Until 1960, Ferguson and other areas of northern San Luis were inhabited mostly by white citizens, but the end of racial segregation in schools provoked an exodus of whites to more remote areas. In 2000 whites were no longer majority in Ferguson (45%). In 2010 accounted for 29%. “It’s an extremely segregated city,” admitted Mark, a white worker who was repairing a fast food restaurant the damage caused by vandals. San Luis is the sixth most segregated city in the USA by race.
The main source of employment in multinational Ferguson is an electric, but neighborhood residents who died in Brown complain about the lack of job opportunities and the vicious circle in which they enter if they commit any crime. Unemployment is around 9%. Average income is $ 37,000 annually, a third less than the Missouri average. About a quarter of the population lives below the federal poverty level.