A revealing report released by a panel formed by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon after the death of Michael Brown Jr. is highlighting a long history of racial inequality and divides in the St. Louis area.
The 198-page report, released Monday by the 16-person commission, also offers reforms in several areas — including police practices and the court system — to rectify systemic racial issues and an overall racial climate that was amplified after the death of the Black teenager at the hands of a White police officer.
According to the St. Louis Dispatch, the report — titled ‘Forward Through Ferguson: A Path Toward Racial Equity’ — breaks down the 169 recommendations into four categories — Justice for All, Youth at the Center, Opportunity to Thrive, and Racial Equity.
“The law says all citizens are equal,” the report reads. “But the data says not everyone is treated that way.
“We have not moved beyond race. St. Louis does not have a proud history on this topic, and we are still suffering the consequences of decisions made by our predecessors.”
The recommendations range from improving housing and education, to addressing criminal justice and economics.
“We believe that if we attempt to skirt the difficult truths, if we try to avoid talking about race, if we stop talking about Ferguson, as many in the region would like us to, then we cannot move forward,” the report says. “Progress is rarely simple, and it rarely goes in a straight line.”
But the report, which includes both plain text to break down complex policies and interactive tools, does list its limitations, acknowledging that for the recommendations to take place, government leaders have to get involved.
“No matter how sound our calls to action, they are calls — the Commission does not have the power to enact them,” the report says. “This means that while this report includes many specific policy calls to action, it is not an implementation plan.”
You can read the digital version of the report below.
1. 2014: Michael Brown’s lifeless body was left in the streets of Ferguson for more than four hours after he was killed by Officer Darren Wilson on August 9.
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2. 2015: Tyrone Harris, 18, was shot in Ferguson Sunday night by police for allegedly attacking them with a firearm. He remains in critical condition and is facing four charges of first-degree assault on law enforcement, five counts of armed criminal action, and one count of discharging a firearm at a motor vehicle.
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3. 2014: Unrest in Ferguson plagued the city after police officers clashed with protesters.
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4. 2015: Police stand to maintain the crowd after shots rang out on the anniversary of Mike Brown’s death.
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5. 2014: An unarmed protester was approached by police during protests in Ferguson. The image became one of the most memorable of the city’s uprising.
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6. 2015: A woman stands before police with her hands up in the air.
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7. 2014: After the shooting of Mike Brown and the death of Eric Garner, unrest continued to rise in Ferguson. After it was determined that Darren Wilson would not be indicted in the fatal shooting of the teen, protesters took to the streets.
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8. 2015: Since the death of Brown, over 100 men, women, and children of color have been killed by police. Worldwide protests have continued advocating for better training for police officers.
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9. 2014: A woman hit with pepper spray is doused with milk. Ferguson police issued curfews for protesters after incidents of arson and looting occurred during peaceful protests in the city.
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10. 2015: A year later, protesters say they too were hit with tear gas while protesting in the streets.
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11. 2014: The National Guard was called into Ferguson to “control” protests.
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12. 2015: A teen is caught in the crossfire during a shooting that took place in Ferguson on the anniversary of Mike Brown’s death.
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13. 2014: Army tanks filled the streets of Ferguson after protests turned violent in the city.
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14. 2015: St. Louis police with army gear arrive in Ferguson Sunday night.