The shooting of Michael Brown occurred on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri, United States. Brown was an 18-year-old African-American man who died after being shot multiple times by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Brown was unarmed and had no history of arrests or criminal convictions. According to Ferguson police, Brown was a suspect in a robbery minutes before the shooting, although the initial contact between Wilson and Brown was unrelated to the robbery.
Wilson has served four years with the Ferguson Police Department, two years with another local police department, and had no disciplinary history with an award for “extraordinary effort in the line of duty”.
The incident sparked reactions within the St. Louis suburb and at the national level, including peaceful demonstrations and protests, acts of vandalism and other forms of social unrest,as well as national calls for an investigation. Widespread media coverage explored the question of local police departments arming themselves with “military-grade weapons” and responding in a military fashion when dealing with protesting civilians and journalists covering volatile current events.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) opened a civil rights investigation of the shooting. U.S. President Barack Obama issued a statement expressing condolences to Brown’s family and committed the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct an investigation.
On August 16, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and implemented a midnight to 5 a.m. curfew in Ferguson.