The August 2014 shooting death of 18-year-old Mike Brown immediately brought Ferguson, a small city in St. Louis County, Missouri, under a microscope. The unarmed black teen was shot and killed by a local police officer, igniting a wave of peaceful protests. Following his death, a lot of disturbing news started pouring out of Ferguson, including looting and police launching tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters and journalists. Taking a look at these graphs, it's nearly impossible to deny that racism has played a huge part in Mike's death and the community's resulting outrage.
Now, if you're one of those people who thinks segregation is a thing of the past or that it only happens down South, you'd be wrong. In fact, according to a recent study by Brown University, St. Louis is the ninth-most-segregated city in the U.S. And since I heard you like facts with your facts, here's a handy Fact Check Time:
- Ferguson Police Department — three black police officers to 50 white officers
CBS Local, Vox(citing L.A. Times), Newsweek, and Mother Jones.
- 5,384 car stops — 4,632 black vs. 686 white and 66 other. Ferguson 2013 racial profiling report.
- 1 in 3 white people carrying contraband vs. 1 in 5 black people:
Ferguson 2013 racial profiling report.
- Ferguson 2010 census — 21,203 population, 67.4% black, 29.3% white, 3.3% other.
Census QuickFacts; CensusViewer.
- St. Louis is the ninth-most-segregated city in the United States:
Washington Post Wonkblog via Brown University's US2010 Project.