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Ferguson braces for protests on anniversary of Michael Brown shooting

Updated: 2015-08-07 14:00
(Agencies)

Ferguson braces for protests on anniversary of Michael Brown shooting

Chocolate, 36, an activist who wants to be identified by only her nickname, waves an American flag upside down while posing for a portrait in Ferguson, Missouri July 24, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

'Not the first one'

Brown died after being shot multiple times by white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson after a confrontation with Wilson on a sunny Saturday afternoon as Brown and a friend walked through their neighborhood.

Images of the teen's body, which lay in the street for more than four hours, and an aftermath in which police officials defended Wilson's actions and characterized Brown as a thug and a thief, enraged many in the black community.

"He (Brown) was one, but not the first one, to be murdered by policing authorities and obviously he wasn't the last," said Montague Simmons, chairman of the Organization for Black Struggle, one of the groups planning protests. "People want to see something different. They want safety to mean something different."

The grand jury that reviewed the case found Wilson had broken no laws, but that decision provoked a second wave of rioting in Ferguson three months after Brown's death.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles said the city has made many reforms in the last year, though it still has more to do. This weekend Ferguson will not officially recognize the anniversary of Brown's death. Instead, it will sponsor a job fair Saturday and a back-to-school event Sunday at the local community center as an alternative, Knowles said.

"We hope people will choose to do something community oriented, focus on moving the community forward together as opposed to anything that might be disruptive," Knowles said.

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