Meghan O'Donnell, 29, from St. Louis, prays at the spot where Michael Brown was killed Sunday evening

AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, J.B. Forbes

It’s been 6 months since the killing of Mike Brown, an unarmed St. Louis teen, who was shot dead by Officer Darren Wilson, while en route to his grandmother’s house. Brown’s body was left to cook on the summer asphalt for four-and-a-half-hours as hundreds of family, friends, and community members gathered around. In response to his mother Leslie McSpadden’s anguish, an officer told her to “get it together.” That comment set the tone for how Brown’s community would be treated during subsequent days, weeks, and months when they gathered in the streets to mourn and to protest. Police brought out dogs, machine guns, and tanks to residential neighborhoods where they tear gassed and threatened both protesters and media with deadly force.

After seeing George Zimmerman get off for the killing of Trayvon Martin, after watching video of John Crawford being gunned down by police in a Walmart for carrying an unloaded firearm, which was sold by the store, after watching Eric Garner whimper “I Can’t Breathe” during his final moments as an NYPD officer choked him to death, after the countless deaths of so many other Black men and women, Brown’s death awakened a new generation of activism that continues to shape contemporary dialogue about targeted state-sanctioned violence against people of color, immigrants, women, and LGBTQ people.

What follows is a timeline of key local and national events that have shaped what many have proclaimed to be a rebirth of civil rights activism, commonly referred to as “Ferguson,” the epicenter of the Black Lives Matter movement:

 



August 9, 2014

En route to his grandmother’s house, Mike Brown, an unarmed 18-year old is killed by Officer Darren Wilson after being pulled over and assaulted for “jaywalking.” Hundreds gather on Canfield Drive in response.

Mike Brown’s mother speaks on the day of his death

12 Things You Should Know About the Mike Brown Shooting

Police run over a memorial built for Mike Brown and allow a dog to urinate on it.

 

August 10, 2014

One day after Brown is killed, a QuikTrip is set on fire after police threaten and push mourning protesters who have flooded the streets of West Florissant onto the QuikTrip property.

Brown’s parents hold first news conference, asking for justice in their son’s murder.

The first reports of police tear gassing protesters in Ferguson post to social media.

Activist/musician Tef Poe speaks out against looting at candlelight vigil.

August 12, 2014

President Obama releases statement calling Mike Brown’s death “heart breaking.”

Brown’s friend Dorian Johnson comes forward as an eyewitness, telling TV cameras Brown was trying to surrender when he was shot and killed.

August 13, 2014

Ferguson police tear gas peaceful protestors.

August 14, 2014

Obama addresses the nation and urges an “open and transparent” investigation into Brown’s death while pushing for calm and restraint.

United States Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) stated that “militarization of the police escalated the protesters’ response.

August 15, 2014

Darren Wilson is named as Mike Brown’s killer.

National protests break-out, including this solidarity march in Chicago.

Ferguson Police Chief Jackson releases surveillance video and dispatch records of the robbery, although he states that Wilson was unaware of the robbery when he approached Brown.

August 16, 2014

A state of emergency is declared by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon

August 17, 2014

A group of Tibetan monks join the protesters in Ferguson.

August 18, 2014

Missouri Govenor Nixon deploys the National Guard in Ferguson 

August 19, 2014

Kajieme Powell, an unarmed man with mental health issues, is killed by police in St. Louis. According to witnesses, Powell walked into a St. Louis convenience store, where he stole 2 cans of soda and a snack. He then walked outside, laid the items on the ground, and began yelling about Mike Brown. Police shot him on site, then handcuffed him after he died.

Min. Farrakhan responds to Mike Brown’s death.

10 Ways You Can Help The People Of Ferguson, Missouri

August 20, 2014

Attorney General Eric Holder visits Ferguson.

As protests intensify, police wage death threats on peaceful protestors and media.

From the Streets of Ferguson: ACTIVIST ROSA CLEMENTE RECOUNTS A TERRIFYING ENCOUNTER WITH LOCAL POLICE FORCES WHILE PROTESTING

The Ferguson/Palestine Connection: AS THE UNREST CONTINUES, THE ST. LOUIS POLICE COLLABORATION WITH ISRAEL UNDERSCORES CONNECTED STRUGGLES

Ferguson on Fire: SENIOR EDITOR JAMILAH LEMIEUX REFLECTS ON TRAVELING TO THE HEARTBROKEN COMMUNITY AND WHAT BLACK PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF THE AREA MUST KNOW

August 25, 2014

Mike Brown’s family lays his body to rest. [Video]

August 28, 2014

Hilary Clinton speaks out on racial injustice in Ferguson.

August 29, 2014

Black Lives Matter Freedom Rides bring more than 500 activists from around the country and Canada to Ferguson to join thousands for Labor Day actions and protests.

Pressure Grows for GoFundMe to Stop Its ‘Support Officer Darren Wilson’ Campaign. More than 100,000 protesters agree crowdfunding site should not be profiting from Michael Brown’s death.

August 30, 2014

Labor Day: Protesters stop highway traffic in St. Louis for four-and-a-half minutes, a symbolic tribute to the four-and-a-half hours that Brown’s body spent laying in the August sun, after he was murdered by Darren Wilson. [Video]

September 16, 2014

Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, testifies in front of the grand jury that Brown hit him in the face with a fist following an exchange between them on Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Mo.

September 21, 2014

Ferguson protesters disrupt St. Louis Rams game.

September 23, 2014

Mike Brown’s memorial is mysteriously burned to the ground.

Mike Brown Sr. lays roses at the memorial for his son-Mike Brown Jr. after the makeshift memorial at Canfield was set ablaze.

September 24, 2014

An Ohio grand jury rules there will be no indictment in the death of John Crawford, who was gunned down by police while shopping in a Walmart for carrying a gun sold by the store. Crawford was on the phone with his child’s mother and likely never heard police approaching him. Ohio is an open-carry state.

FLASHBACK: Video of John Crawford’s last moments in an Ohio Walmart before he was executed by police.

September 25, 2014

Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson Makes an official urgent announcement acknowledging that the situation between police and protesters has gotten out of hand.

Chief Jackson’s unofficial announcement to a citizen journalist about the state of police-protestor relations.

October 4, 2014

Demonstrators disrupt St. Louis symphony singing a “Requiem for Mike Brown.”

October 6, 2014

After a game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball supporters and protesters had a chanting battle outside the stadium

October 8, 2014

Vonderrit D. Myers Jr., 18, is killed by a St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officer who was working for a private security firm in the Shaw neighborhood. Police say the young Black male fired 3 shots at the officer, before the officer returned fire of at least 16 shots. Witnesses say the fatally wounded teen was carrying a sandwich and was unarmed.

UPDATE: December 8 – St. Louis police seek no charges in officer’s killing of VonDerrit Myers, but prosecution review pending

October 11, 2014

Ferguson October: Thousands March in St. Louis for Police Reform & Call for the Arrest of Officer Darren Wilson

St. Louis Police arrest and tear gas peaceful protestors at a Quiktrip just a mile away from the murder site of VonDerrit Myers, Jr. 

October 12, 2014

#FergusonOctober Protesters target and shut down several Wal-marts in the St. Louis area, in honor of John Crawford’s murder.

Ferguson October Protesters March Through St. Louis Walmart

October 25, 2104

As White angst and community tensions rise in preparation for the Grand Jury announcement, an Open Carry march is led in downtown St. Louis, primarily by White men, encouraging citizens to take up arms.

October 26, 2014

VonDerrit Myers, Jr. is laid to rest by family and a community of protesters. [Video]

November 11, 2014

Brown’s parents testify in front of the United Nations.

November 14, 2014

Gun sales spike as Ferguson area braces for grand jury decision.

November 16, 2014

100 days since Brown’s murder. To honor his life, hundreds of protestors stage die-in protest in downtown St. Louis.

Anonymous launches Operation #HoodsOff, identifying and exposing St. Louis Klan Members — Including Cops

November 18, 2014

Ferguson Commission Press Conference: After declaring a preemptive state of emergency in Missouri in advance of the Darren Wilson grand jury announcement, the governor names the members of the newly formed organization

November 20, 2014

Anonymous responds to threats from the KKK against protestors.

28-year Old Akai Gurley is killed in a New York housing project by a rookie police officer.

November 22, 2014

12-year old Tamir Rice is killed in a playground while holding a toy gun. The officer, who mistook Rice for a 20-year old man, jumped out of a moving car and shot the child within seconds of arriving on the scene.

UPDATE: In Tamir Rice Case, Many Errors by Cleveland Police, Then a Fatal One

November 24, 2014

The Grand Jury reaches a decision. Darren Wilson will not be indicted. Protests break out in St. Louis and around the country.

Mike Brown’s parents respond with agony and anger to the Grand Jury announcement.

UPDATE: Mike Brown’s Step Father Arrested and Charged with Inciting a Riot

[FERGUSON FORWARD] Black Death in the Era of Ferguson: SENIOR EDITOR JAMILAH LEMIEUX ON ENDLESS POLICE KILLINGS AND THE RIGHT TO RAGE

November 25, 2014

CNN reports that thousands of people rallied to protest the grand jury’s decision in more than 170 U.S. cities from Boston to Los Angeles

Chicago Erupts After Missouri Grand Jury’s Decision in Ferguson

Durham/Ferguson Protest: It’s Everywhere

Stand Up To Racism and the London Black Revolutionaries organize a protest outside the London Embassy of the United States against the grand jury’s decision, gathering a thousand people.

The body of 20-year-old DeAndre Joshua, rumored to be a witness to Mike Brown’s murder, is found burned and shot in a car

November 27, 2014

Michael Brown’s family sets spot for dead teen at the Thanksgiving dinner table, others follow suit on social media

November 28, 2014

#BlackOutBlackFriday – Thousands of activists launch protests shutting down malls and highways around the country – St. Louis, Seattle, Los Angeles, Washington DC.

November 30, 2014

St. Louis Rams participate in on-the-field protest.

December 3, 2014

A New York Grand Jury announces that it will not indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo, for the chokehold death Eric Garner, a 400-pound, asthmatic, married father of 6, who was harassed, mobbed, and murdered by police in front of a bodega on July 17, 2014, in Staten Island. The grand jury decision comes 10 days after a Clayton, Missouri grand jury announced that it would not indict Darren Wilson, a white police officer, for fatally shooting Michael Brown.

Esaw Garner, Eric Garner’s wife: “No, I don’t accept his apology.”

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio on Eric Garner Decision in New York

President Obama makes statement on Eric Garner grand jury decision

Full statement: Attorney General Eric Holder announces federal investigation into Eric Garner’s death

December 4, 2014

The nation breaks out in protests against the Grand Jury’s decision not to charge the NYPD officer responsible for the death of Eric Garner. Traffic comes to a standstill in Lower Manhattan on Broadway near City Hall as a result of thousands filling the streets.

December 6, 2014

#BlackBrunch protesters disrupt restauraunt patrons to remind those who seem to be oblivious to the pain of others that #BlackLivesMatter

December 8, 2014

Jay-Z Hand-Delivers #ICantBreathe T-shirts to NBA Players, in honor of Eric Garner’s last words before police choked him to death.

LeBron, Irving in #ICantBreathe T-shirts

Kobe Bryant, Lakers Teammates Wear #ICantBreathe T-shirts

December 11, 2014

Black Congressional Staffers Stage Powerful ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’ Protest

December 19, 2014

News leaks that Missouri Prosecutor McCullough allowed witnesses he knew to be lying to testify in Mike Brown Grand Jury.

December 20, 2014

A Black Lives Matter protest fills Mall of America (Bloomington, Minnesota), chanting ‘no justice, no peace’. The group is part of a national movement to end police brutality against Black people.

Two NYPD Officers are ambushed and killed in Brooklyn, New York. The suspect commits suicide. The head of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, Patrick Lynch, makes this statement, “There’s blood on many hands tonight — those that incited violence on the street under the guise of protests, that tried to tear down what New York City police officers did every day.” He added, “That blood on the hands starts on the steps of City Hall, in the office of the mayor.”

December 22, 2014

New York police officers turn their backs on Mayor Bill de Blasio at the funeral of one of the slain officers.

December 24, 2014

On Christmas Eve, Antonio Martin is killed by St. Louis police.

Antonio Martin Shooting: Police and Protesters Clash at St Louis Gas Station

December 28, 2014

High School Bans “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts

January 2, 2015

Oprah weighs in, saying that today’s protests needs “leadership.”

What Oprah Missed When She Criticized the Ferguson Protests

January 9, 2015

Dream Defenders, Black Lives Matter & Ferguson Reps Take Historic Trip to Palestine.

January 19, 2015

#ReclaimMLK: Activists Nationwide Follow in MLK’s Footsteps to Protest Racial Injustice:Thousands of protesters around the country engage in #ReclaimMLK protests, to re-frame Dr. Martin Luther King as an action-oriented revolutionary, not the assimilationist that mainstream media has made him out to be. The new front of activism believes in decentralized leadership and disrupting the status quo, by any (peaceful) means necessary.

REV. JESSE JACKSON: A New Generation Reclaims Dr. King’s Legacy: “The new generation has been criticized for its disruptive tactics, for not having a clear message and strategy, for potentially alienating people instead of persuading them with their disruption. But the demonstrators have it right. Nonviolence for King was not passive, not business as usual.”

January 21, 2015

Black Lives Matter Protesters Interrupt Capitol Hill Lunch

February 9, 2015

On the 6-month anniversary of Mike Brown’s death, thousands have marched around the world to push back against White supremacy, the militarization of police, and state-sanctioned violence. 2015 has been declared the Year of Resistance.

Katina Parker is a filmmaker, photographer, and activist. To follow her documentation work in Ferguson go to www.facebook.com/dontshootsof. To receive updates about her Virtual Freedom School, a space where theory meets action, go to www.facebook.com/virtfreeschool and follow her on Twitter – @katinaparker.



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