Monday, August 18, 2014

Great pieces from and related to events in Ferguson, MO

I've found myself riveted lately by what's been going on in Ferguson, Missouri over the past nine days and there's been some amazing writing on what's happened there, as well as other great writing and a speech that come to mind as I follow the unfolding events.

The most detailed piece I've seen about the shooting death of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson that precipitated everything was "In Ferguson, three minutes — and two lives forever changed" for the Washington Post by Manuel Roig-Franzia, DeNeen L. Brown and Wesley Lowery. The story was published on August 16th so additional details have and will continue to come to light, but it seems a really solid account.

In terms of the police action both that August 9th day and since, two pieces of writing I keep thinking of that weren't about Ferguson and the events there, but seem very much related, were by Jason Fagone and Matt Taibbi. For Mother Jones, Fagone wrote "How a Squad of Ex-Cops Fights Police Abuses" on retired cops working as investigators for a Florida Public Defender's Office and Taibbi authored the book The Divide (which I wrote on a few weeks ago). Taibbi provided an excellent and infuritating look at the application of justice in America and how there's different sets of consequences for breaking laws depending on what group someone a part of.

Two really well done pieces of writing done as a result of police reaction to protestors in Ferguson were both political in nature, and from two people perhaps often on different ends of a political spectrum. For Time Magazine was "Rand Paul: We Must Demilitarize the Police" by the Kentucky Senator and for his own company site, Venture Capital investor and Barack Obama backer Chris Sacca wrote "A few thoughts on race, America, and our President" about what the unfolding situation calls for.

The last thing to note here on something that I've seen posted in relation to Ferguson and which has stuck with me was video of the speech Robert F. Kennedy gave in which he annouced the death of Martin Luther King Jr. I six years ago linked to an audio-only version and the speech more powerful today than ever.