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I spent August 14th, 2014 with the people of Ferguson. All I knew prior to arriving was an unarmed black teenager had been killed by a cop and violent altercations were taking place in streets. What I found was a community fed up, with a deep seeded mistrust and sense of oppression by a nearly all white police force. This community was upset and emotional about the killing of Michael Brown but they were peaceful, something they shared with the police was frustration towards the few individuals who were undermining their peaceful demonstrations. These troublemakers were few. Throughout the night of August 14th there were multiple occasions when these few got out of hand and every time, without exception, it was the people of Ferguson who kept them in check. The demonstrators were clearly concerned with the way they'd been portrayed in the media. Their message was being muddled by the violence initiated by a few.
As a stranger in a foreign environment I was made to feel welcome. I was offered food and water and everyone was willing to speak to me about their experiences.
It is unfortunate that these demonstrations are marred by the violent acts of a small group. It is not the will of the community to act out in this way, only the view of a group of outliers. It is upsetting to see headlines, day after day, of riots and tear gas instead of the real issue at hand; an unarmed teenager was shot 6 times, twice in the head, by the very person assigned to protect him and the community he lives in.
music by - Braden Deal