Ferguson: Race and Justice in the U.S.

Beyond the verdictAiring Monday, 12/15 at 9pm ET/6pm PT

This Monday, December 15th at 9pm ET/6p PT, Al Jazeera’s Emmy Award-winning “Fault Lines” presents a special one-hour report, “Ferguson: Race and Justice in the U.S.”

“Fault Lines” correspondent and seasoned international journalist Sebastian Walker took six trips to Ferguson from early August through November, witnessing the protests and police reaction to the fatal shooting of 18-year old Michael Brown and looking deeper into why so many in Missouri feel injustice from law enforcement.

In this hour-long special, “Fault Lines” presents a bird’s eye view of the days just after the shooting – when small crowds of peaceful demonstrators encountered heavily armed police in armored vehicles – and the evening of August 13th, which quickly spiraled into violence and a display of tear-gas, rubber bullets and military-style vehicles by law enforcement. We go inside the responses by Missouri law enforcement and the reaction by the Brown family and protestors, and learn why the protests in Ferguson grew increasingly larger and drew worldwide attention.

Al Jazeera’s Sebastian Walker tours the streets where the fatal encounter between Officer Darren Wilson and Michael Brown took place – a predominantly African American neighborhood that many say is typical of the way neighborhoods in the St Louis area are divided along racial and economic lines. Walker explores issues in the area through the eyes of local residents, including the impact of the nearly 50% unemployment rate for black males aged 16-24 in St. Louis County, and how some local communities garner nearly 30% of their revenue from fines that target mainly low-income residents.

“I would call [the ticketing] a daily, low-level harassment by the government,” says Thomas Harvey, a local St. Louis lawyer and executive director of ArchCity Defenders. “Psychologically, I think it’s a devastating effect.”

“Fault Lines” also explores other police shootings in St. Louis, some of which drew little media attention or public scrutiny at the time. In April 2013, St. Louis police tried to pull over 25-year old Cary Ball Jr. for a traffic violation; Ball, who was carrying an illegal weapon, was shot and killed by officers while fleeing the scene. Ball was struck at least 21 times, with family lawyers saying ballistic evidence suggest the police may have kept shooting while they stood over his body.

Next, “Fault Lines” goes out on patrol with police officers from nearby Hazelwood, MO, to talk to police officers about how they feel about the dangers of patrolling the area, and then travels to the scene of the fatal officer-involved shooting of Vonderrick Myers Jr. on October 8th, which drew angry reactions from residents.

It’s an in-depth “Fault Lines” that examines the underlying factors that contributed to what happened in Ferguson, including the hidden reality of the relationships between law enforcement and African-Americans in Missouri.

Fault Lines’ special report on the protests and police response in Ferguson, Missouri, premieres on Al Jazeera America on Monday, December 15th at 9 p.m. Eastern time/6 p.m. Pacific. It will air again at 12am and 4am, and Saturday December 20th at 7pm ET/4pm PT and 10pm ET/7pm PT.

Al Jazeera America’s Faultlines

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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6 Responses to Ferguson: Race and Justice in the U.S.

  1. I watched the show. I could cry seeing how black citizens suffered. Just imagine having to strategize how to come out of your house to go to work, school, run errands in order to avoid getting harassed by police? It was/is a living hell. Change must come. Thank you for shining the light, Al Jazeera America. Thank you for all you do.

    “Fault Lines” “Ferguson: Race & Justice in the U.S.” will air again on Al Jazeera America on Sat Dec 20th at 7pm ET/4pm PT & 10pm ET/7pm PT

  2. ‘˜Poverty violations’™ help fuel racial divide in St. Louis County.

    Critics accuse system of aggressive ticketing of unfairly targeting African-Americans


    Tinnisha Jenkins spends a lot of time in the courthouses of St. Louis County. She’s not a lawyer, but a resident of the town of Overland who has accumulated thousands of dollars in fines between 2011 and 2013 from 11 different municipalities within the 90-city county.

    Her story is a common one in St. Louis County, just west of the city of St. Louis. There, some municipalities have seven times the number of arrests warrants as residents, a majority of which are for low-level traffic violations. In the case of the 40-year-old Jenkins, a police officer from the town of Hazelwood ran the plates of her car as she was pulling into a parking lot. The officer told her the license plate on her car wasn’t visible., but he did not issue her a citation. However, after discovering that she had a suspended license due to unpaid tickets in other municipalities, the officer had her car towed.

    In the wake of the Michael Brown shooting, the municipal court system in St. Louis County has come under fire, with critics branding it as an oppressive system that has contributed to the community’s deep distrust of both police and public officials.

    Most of the municipalities in St. Louis County maintain their own police forces, and aggressive ticketing is necessary to fund the operations of each separate policing entity. In some municipalities, fines from traffic violations account for more than 30 percent of a town’s revenue.

    “The budget for these cities is set, not by the judge or the prosecutor, this is by the city manager,” said Thomas Harvey, an attorney in St. Louis who founded Arch City Defenders to assist low-income members of the community. “They set up a budget that says, ‘We’re going to collect $2.7 million this year from our municipal court.’ That’s a lot of money to collect.”

  3. Liza says:

    Thanks for this, SG2.

  4. Al Jazeera America is available around the U.S. on Comcast Channel 107, Time Warner Cable, AT&T U-Verse 1219, Verizon Fios Channel 614, Dish Channel 215 and DirecTV Channel 347.

  5. rikyrah says:

    it looks like they went into depth.

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