Michael Brown’s father seeks to reopen son’s case

On the fifth anniversary of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, his father is urging the top St. Louis County prosecutor to reopen the investigation into the white police officer who fatally shot the black and unarmed 18-year-old. (Aug. 9)

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Ferguson Commission member Felicia Pulliam discusses the fallout from the Michael Brown shooting

Felicia Pulliam recognizes that more than a half-century after the civil rights movement, race relations in the U.S. have a long way to go. But she believes events in Ferguson helped move things forward. Pulliam, who is black, is a longtime advocate for racial equity and unity. She was among the 16 people appointed to the Ferguson Commission convened by then-Gov. Jay Nixon to address the racial problems in the St. Louis region that were thrust into the spotlight after Michael Brown’s death.

Mayor James Knowles III talks about how Michael Brown’s death changed Ferguson

James Knowles III, who is white, was re-elected to a third three-year term last year. He said the election was evidence that despite those who speak out at council meetings, he has plenty of support, including in the black community. Knowles, 40, is proud of the work Ferguson has done to reform its police and court practices, reforms that he points out began weeks after Brown’s death, long before they were mandated by a 2016 agreement with the Justice Department. The Ferguson Police Department drew heavy criticism in 2014 for many reasons: It had only three black officers out of 53 in a city that is two-thirds African American. Police were accused of racial profiling in traffic stops, of treating blacks with aggression. Today, Knowles said, the department is almost evenly split between white and black officers. Officers now wear body cameras. They’re more involved with people rather than just reacting to crime.

Filmmaker Chris Phillips talks about the impact of Michael Brown’s death

As unrest grew in Ferguson, many people across the country were getting their news not from traditional media but from online video, including livestreaming.
Filmmaker Chris Phillips was among those providing that content, in part because, for him, it was personal: He was black and lived at the time in Canfield Green Apartments, near where Brown was killed.
Phillips, now 38, didn’t fully grasp the magnitude of the shooting until the next day.
For the next several months, Phillips and other videographers were a constant presence at the protests, capturing images of police in riot gear and armed with military weapons clashing with demonstrators.

Activist Josh Brown speaks about the impact of Michael Brown’s death

Josh Williams’ mother drove Michael Brown’s school bus. In 2014, Williams and Brown were both 18 and knew each other, though not well. Williams said he was shaken by his death.
Williams, who is black, took to the streets of Ferguson the night after the shooting and stayed there for the months of protests that followed. He lived in a tent most of the time along West Florissant Avenue.
In December 2014, Antonio Martin was killed in a confrontation with police at a gas station in Berkeley, near Ferguson. In what he called a fit of anger during a protest, Williams grabbed a few things from the store and set fire to a trash can.
The crime was captured by a TV news crew, and Williams was arrested the next day. He was convicted and sentenced to eight years in prison. His only prior arrests were for disturbances related to protests.
Now 23, Williams is housed in a prison southwest of St. Louis. He said he spends much of his time counseling other prisoners, helping them prepare for life once they get out.

Impact of Brown’s death still felt in Ferguson

Five years after Michael Brown was shot and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, the town has seen changes but some residents wonder if enough has been done. (August 8)

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The Sheriffs Refusing To Enforce Washington State’s New Gun Law (HBO)

From his temporary office in the basement of the Klickitat County Courthouse, Sheriff Bob Songer is carrying out a provocative mission: he’s refusing to enforce a new Washington State gun control law.

The law, Initiative 1639, raises the age to purchase a semi-automatic rifle to 21, expands background checks, and adds new rules for the safe storage of firearms. Some of its provisions went into effect on January 1st; the rest are supposed to start in July.

But Songer says the law is unconstitutional — and he insists he won’t carry it out, nor, as an elected sheriff, should he be obligated to.

“Even if it was a legal law, you have discretionary power,” Songer tells VICE News Tonight. “There is no other law enforcement official in the entire United States except a sheriff is elected to office by the people.”

Songer is a leading figure in a movement that’s become the go-to response to new gun-control laws: law enforcement officials declaring their counties “sanctuaries” for gun rights. So far, more than 100 counties in at least seven states have made the move. In Washington alone, more than twenty sheriffs have said that they will follow Songer’s lead.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson thinks a lot of that is bluster. But he’s also taking steps to ensure the law is fully enforced.

“We’ve had a death penalty in our state for many, many years,” Ferguson says. “I’m personally quite opposed the death penalty. But my office helps defend death penalty cases across the state.”

In February, Ferguson sent an open letter to sheriffs across the state warning them that their counties’s residents could face civil penalties or liability if the law is not enforced. Earlier this month, he penned another letter reminding gun shops that they must follow the new law, regardless of what their local sheriff tells them.

“To me where I draw the line is what’s discretionary and what’s not,” Ferguson said. “You will see in the state 18 year olds, 19 year olds, and 20 year olds can no longer purchase AR-15s. That’s going to happen. Period. You will see in the state enhanced background checks done for semiautomatic weapons. Effective July 1 that’s going to happen. Period.”

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Black Lives: Struggle. Dreaming of racial justice in St. Louis’ black neighborhoods (Ep.1)

Fifty years after Martin Luther King’s death, some American cities are still divided along racial lines. The legacy of legalised segregation persists and shapes urban areas like St. Louis
Episode one follows St. Louis activists who are fighting battles old and new: against inequality, poverty, bias, lack of prospects, police abuse, and extrajudicial killings, all problems the African-American community faces every day. We meet activist rapper, T-Dubb-O, Ferguson protester, Dhoruba Shakur, and local protest organiser, Tory Russell. They all describe the bleak reality of living in black enclaves
We also hear from Gina Torres, whose son, Isaiah Hammett, was killed in a raid on their home by a SWAT team. Some say the young white man received, “the treatment of black people” and died because he hung around black people.

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Speaking with Prominent Activist Brittany Packnett – VICE on HBO

Almost three years after Ferguson, tensions between the police and black communities remain high. While African Americans are being targeted at unprecedented rates, 2016 saw a dramatic spike in the number of officers killed in ambush-style attacks.

Recent attempts at reform have done little to save lives. Now, as the country grows further divided, some officers are speaking out to spark change in some of the 18,000 local police departments. VICE correspondent Cord Jefferson reports from St. Louis, one of America’s most dangerous cities, to hear from activists and police officers alike about race and policing.

VICE airs Fridays on HBO at 11pm.

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Cops Getting Caught On Video Hasn’t Led To More Convictions (HBO)

Jason Stockley, the former Missouri police officer who shot and killed Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011, on Friday became the latest cop to be acquitted of murder in spite of video that showed Stockley saying he would kill Smith before shooting him at close range multiple times.

The acquittal was expected to trigger protests in St. Louis, just a few miles from Ferguson, Missouri, where Michael Brown was shot and killed by police in 2014.

While video evidence from body cameras, dash cameras, surveillance cameras, and mobile phones has increased the frequency with which cops are charged with murder and manslaughter since 2015, it is not leading to more convictions. VICE News’ Isabella McKinley Corbo reports:

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Ferguson Election & Russia Protests: VICE News Tonight Full Episode (HBO)

This is the full episode from April 3, 2017, of VICE News Tonight on HBO.

Nearly a thousand people were detained during a week of mass anti-corruption protests in Russia last week, we went to Moscow to meet a family being reunited. Plus, a report on Ferguson’s first mayoral election since the shooting death of Michael Brown. And, an acclaimed new video game allows players to become anything – and everything – in our interconnected universe. Dexter Thomas plays the video game with creator David O’Reilly. Also, April Fools in the era of fake news.

Read: “The progressive Resistance took down Trumpcare. Now what?” – http://bit.ly/2o0zask

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On The Line: Avi Asher-Schapiro on Cop Watch

​Follow us on Twitter (https://twitter.com/vicenews) where we’ll announce the next topic for On The Line.

VICE News journalist Avi Asher-Schapiro (https://twitter.com/aaschapiro) joined On The Line to discuss his new piece about Cop Watch.

Over the past year-and-a-half, police violence in places like New York, Baltimore, and Ferguson grabbed headlines, sparked mass protest, and drove down public confidence in law enforcement to a 22 year low. In response, people across the country have been fashioning makeshift uniforms, arming themselves with cameras, and patrolling streets to document police misconduct. It’s an explosion of a movement that has been around for many years. This is Copwatch.

Read: Walking the Beat With Copwatch, the People Who Police the Police – http://bit.ly/1V8w12t

VICE News and On The Line want to hear from you! Let us know your questions on Twitter with the hashtag #ontheline, or send us a video message on Skype.

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This Week On The Line: Avi Asher-Schapiro on Cop Watch

On Thursday at 12pm EDT VICE News journalist Avi Asher-Schapiro (https://twitter.com/aaschapiro) joins On The Line to discuss his new piece about Cop Watch.

Over the past year-and-a-half, police violence in places like New York, Baltimore, and Ferguson grabbed headlines, sparked mass protest, and drove down public confidence in law enforcement to a 22 year low. In response, people across the country have been fashioning makeshift uniforms, arming themselves with cameras, and patrolling streets to document police misconduct. It’s an explosion of a movement that has been around for many years. This is Copwatch.

Read: Walking the Beat With Copwatch, the People Who Police the Police – http://bit.ly/1V8w12t

VICE News and On The Line want to hear from you! Let us know your questions for Avi on Twitter with the hashtag #ontheline, or send us a video message on Skype.

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A Look Back At The Violence In Ferguson: Talking Heads

VICE News and the New York Review of Books have partnered to create Talking Heads, a series about the big issues of the day as seen by the Review’s distinguished contributors.

In this episode, Darryl Pinckney discusses his essay “In Ferguson.” He visited Ferguson, Missouri, in November, when a grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot and killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown. The dissatisfaction Pinckney felt as he followed news coverage of events in the area compelled him to visit and bear witness. Once on the ground, he discovered that despite sometimes violent expressions of anger within the community, the danger he felt was always from the police.

VICE News invited Pinckney to our studios to discuss the civil rights movement awakened by Ferguson.

Read Darryl Pinckney’s essay, “In Ferguson” – http://bit.ly/1Lw7Oyw

Watch “Eric Garner Protests: Excerpts from VICE News Live Coverage – December 3, 2014” – http://bit.ly/1BHEDsh

Watch “State of Emergency – Ferguson, Missouri (Dispatch 11)” – http://bit.ly/1B5RYtg

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Eric Garner Protests: Excerpts from VICE News Live Coverage – December 3, 2014

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On December 3, a grand jury in New York City announced it would not indict Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer who killed 43-year-old Eric Garner while arresting him on a Staten Island sidewalk in July. The incident was caught on video by a bystander and hundreds of thousands of people have since watched Garner’s last moments of life.

The city’s medical examiner ruled the death a homicide by chokehold, a practice banned by the NYPD, but the non-indictment, which followed a similar high-profile one in Ferguson, Missouri, last week, enraged advocates against policy impunity. In the hours following the announcement, hundreds of protesters gathered spontaneously in Manhattan, many chanting “I can’t breathe” — Eric Garner’s last words.

VICE News followed the protesters as they marched across the city for hours, shutting down traffic on the West Side highway and on Broadway, and making their way to Harlem, sometimes clashing with police along the way.

Read “‘Hands Up, Don’t Choke!’: Non-Indictment in Garner Case Sparks Rallies Across New York” – http://bit.ly/1Bir2Xz

Read “No Grand Jury Indictment for NYPD Cop Involved in Eric
Garner Choking Death” – http://bit.ly/1tMQfSj

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The Night After the Decision: State of Emergency – Ferguson, Missouri (Dispatch 11)

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On November 24, St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced the grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of unarmed black teen Michael Brown.

In Dispatch 11, Vice News roamed the streets of Ferguson the day after widespread arson and looting occurred in response to the announcement, as the evening begins with a stand-off between protesters and police outside the Ferguson Police Department — now heavily guarded by National Guard troops.

Read “#HandsUpWalkout: Ferguson Supporters Nationwide Stage Protest on Anniversary of Rosa Parks’ Act of Defiance” – http://bit.ly/1yJxvs2

Read “Videos Show Ferguson Protesters Around the US Wreaking Havoc on Black Friday” – http://bit.ly/1yoSQG6

Read “‘Hands Up Don’t Spend’: Ferguson Protesters Take on Black Friday in Nationwide Boycott” – http://bit.ly/1HK6wRn

Read “Darren Wilson to Grand Jury: ‘I Had to Kill Him’” – http://bit.ly/15sQvQV

Read “Gunshots, Flames, and Chaos in Ferguson Following Grand Jury Decision” – http://bit.ly/11XaEwd

Watch “Ferguson, Missouri: Highlights from VICE News Live Coverage – November 24, 2014” – http://bit.ly/1v0bcxl

Watch “State of Emergency – Ferguson, Missouri (Dispatch 10)” – http://bit.ly/1B2cVpb

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A City Reacts: State of Emergency – Ferguson, Missouri (Dispatch 10)

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On November 24, St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced the grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of unarmed black teen Michael Brown. VICE News correspondent Danny Gold was on the ground in Ferguson to cover the community’s reaction to the announcement.

Check out “‘Hands Up Don’t Spend’: Ferguson Protesters Take on Black Friday in Nationwide Boycott” – http://bit.ly/1HK6wRn

Check out “Darren Wilson to Grand Jury: ‘I Had to Kill Him’” – http://bit.ly/15sQvQV

Check out “Gunshots, Flames, and Chaos in Ferguson Following Grand Jury Decision” – http://bit.ly/11XaEwd

Watch “Ferguson, Missouri: Highlights from VICE News Live Coverage – November 24, 2014” – http://bit.ly/1v0bcxl

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Ferguson, Missouri: Highlights from VICE News Live Coverage – November 24, 2014

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On November 24, St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced the grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of unarmed black teen Michael Brown. VICE News correspondent Danny Gold was on the ground in Ferguson to cover the community’s violent reaction to the announcement.

Check out “Darren Wilson to Grand Jury: ‘I Had to Kill Him’” – http://bit.ly/15sQvQV

Check out “Gunshots, Flames, and Chaos in Ferguson Following Grand Jury Decision” – http://bit.ly/11XaEwd

Watch “State of Emergency – Ferguson, Missouri (Dispatch 9)” – http://bit.ly/1rfHt3D

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Raw Coverage from Ferguson After Grand Jury Decision

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VICE News reporter Danny Gold reported live from the streets of Ferguson to report on the community’s reaction to the grand jury verdict in the case of Darren Wilson and Michael Brown.

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Preparing for the Worst: State of Emergency – Ferguson, Missouri (Dispatch 9)

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In Dispatch 9, VICE News is in Clayton, Missouri, where the grand jury has reportedly reached a decision as to whether Officer Darren Wilson should be indicted. As businesses in the area board up their stores in anticipation of the decision being announced, wine store owner Al Prince fears his store will be a major target, and is preparing for the worst.

Check out “Pentagon Orders Military to Avoid St. Louis Area Ahead of Ferguson Grand Jury Decision” – http://bit.ly/15hjxTG

Check Out “Ferguson’s State of Emergency Proves America’s Social Contract Has Been Broken” – http://bit.ly/1z4GGBc

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Residents Anxiously Await Grand Jury: State of Emergency – Ferguson, Missouri (Dispatch 8)

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In Dispatch 8, VICE News returns to Ferguson, Missouri, where the community is on edge as it awaits a grand jury decision over whether to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the August 9 shooting death of Michael Brown.

VICE News meets a group of young men who live in the apartment complex where Brown was killed, visits a local gun store that has seen a sharp uptick in sales, and speaks with residents who are arming themselves in preparation for the grand jury decision.

Check Out “Tensions Build and Protesters Arrested in Ferguson Ahead of Grand Jury Decision” – http://bit.ly/1xKRFCX

Check Out “Ferguson’s State of Emergency Proves America’s Social Contract Has Been Broken” – http://bit.ly/1z4GGBc

Watch “State of Emergency – Ferguson, Missouri (Dispatch 7)” – http://bit.ly/1FblayW

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