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A day after Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African-American was shot by Darren Wilson, a 28-year-old white police officer, a series of angry protests and civil disorder ensued in and around Ferguson. The incident sparked debate about the law enforcement and the “use of force” doctrine of US police

On 9 August 2014, a police dispatcher declared a “stealing in progress” from a convenience store. The store’s security camera captured the incident wherein Brown was seen stealing a box of cigarillos and shoving the store clerk. Brown was accompanied by his friend Dorian Johnson. The dispatcher also gave detailed description of the suspect. Minutes later, officer Wilson, trapped them in the middle of Canfield Drive and asked them to move onto the sidewalk.

A tussle began between Brown and Wilson during which Wilson had already fired twice. Brown and his friend took flight and Wilson got down from the vehicle and chased Brown. During the chase, Wilson fired his gun several times fatally injuring Brown, who was unarmed. Witnesses and other evidence revealed that Brown was moving towards Wilson while the bullets were being fired. However, the witness reports differed from one tanother and certain things still remain unclear.

The incident gave way to weeks of protests - both violent and peaceful. Many believed that Brown was surrendering as he had his hands raised when the bullets were being shot. The incident also triggered racial tensions between the black and the white population. There were cases of rioting, vandalism and nights of curfews in Ferguson.

The case was presented before the grand jury by Robert P. McCulloch, who is the Prosecuting Attorney for St. Louis County, Missouri. Evidence was provided in order to come to a decision whether Wilson should be indicted for his actions or not. In a press conference on 24 November, McCulloch announced that the grand jury had decided not to indict Wilson.

Protest intensified following the announcement. There was a blend of peaceful protests as well as civil unrest. Several non-police cars and two St. Louis County Police patrol cars were set ablaze. Thousands walked the streets of various US cities to protest the jury’s decision. Demonstrations were also held in parts of Canada and London.

Concerned over the security of other officers, Wilson announced his decision to resign from the Ferguson police force on 29 November 2014.

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