Ferguson riots

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An outstanding performance from David Oyelowo. Atsushi Nishijima © 2014 Paramount Pictures

It’s dangerous to draw parallels between Selma and today

In an early scene in Selma, a sunlit stairwell is the backdrop for several floral-clad girls chatting happily about the hair styles of Coretta Scott King. This gorgeous vision then explodes before our…
Does this look like community policing? Flikr/Jamelle Bouie

With identity crisis in police, more Fergusons inevitable

Recent social unrest across the country protesting the police shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson and the police chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York has reopened wounds and revealed deeply…
We all want to change the world. EPA/Porter Binks

Eric Garner, the ‘American problem’ and a chance to unite

Police violence has dominated American headlines over the past year. The seemingly unaccounted-for police shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson brought renewed attention and public protests…
A grand jury decision not to indict a police officer over the shooting death of Michael Brown has sparked protests and questions over the system’s efficacy. EPA/Michael Reynolds

Only in America: why Australia is right not to have grand juries

The idea of the grand jury is already familiar to many Australians through American television legal drama. But its profile just skyrocketed with a grand jury deciding not to indict policeman Darren Wilson…
Protestors in Ferguson, Missouri, after the Monday evening announcement of no charges over a teenager’s killing. EPA/Tannen Maury

Timing of the Ferguson case may have made the riots worse

The announcement Monday evening in the US that there would be no charges against a policeman over the shooting of a teenager is puzzling and already the target of critique. It’s not just the decision itself…
Seattle protests the Ferguson grand jury decision. Jason Redmond/Reuters

Ferguson is not a special case

Last week on ABC’s This Week, President Obama said, “My own experience tells me race relations continue to improve,” and “There’s no way to say race relations are worse than 20, 50 years ago.” It’s impossible…
Ferguson citizens protest after the jury’s verdict. EPA/Larry W. Smith

Ferguson has reinforced racial fear and lethal stereotypes

The decision not to charge police officer Darren Wilson with the unlawful shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown has reignited protests across the US. The judgment was met by violent outrage on the streets…
Police in Ferguson, Missouri, far beyond your friendly neighborhood patrolmen. Larry W Smith/EPA

Police militarization is a legacy of cold war paranoia

In August, the police who faced protesters in Ferguson, Missouri looked more like soldiers than officers of the peace. Citizens squared off with a camouflage-clad police force armed with tear gas and grenade…
The blurring of the line between the military and the police, especially in the US, is now on the political agenda following recent events in Ferguson, Missouri. EPA/Roberto Rodriguez

Urban combat: Ferguson and the militarisation of police

Anyone watching the footage coming out of Ferguson, Missouri in recent days would be forgiven for thinking they had tuned into a scene from a combat zone, rather than suburban America. There has been a…
Excessive use of force? EPA/David Carson

Michael Brown, Ferguson and the nature of unrest

The death of Michael Brown is heartbreaking, and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family and his community at this very difficult time … I know the events of the past few days have prompted…

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