Ferguson: Reasonable Force or Police Brutality Against Mike Brown?
The Christian Science Monitor
August 14, 2014
In the five days since a police officer gunned down an unarmed college-bound black teenager returning from a convenience store, unrest continues to engulf Ferguson, a predominantly African-American suburb of St. Louis.
One of the legal questions being raised: Was the shooting by a police officer an illegal act or reasonable force?
Coming on the heels of other high-profile cases of unarmed black men being shot or killed - from the 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watch volunteer to the July chokehold death of Eric Garner by a New York police officer - news of 18-year-old Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Mo., on Saturday raise anew questions about excessive police force.
“It’s hard to imagine what would justify multiple gunshots at an individual going way from the police who’s unarmed,” says Peter Joy a law professor at Washington University Law School in St. Louis.