The Ferguson City Council held its first meeting since the shooting death of Michael Brown on Tuesday night, drawing hundreds of attendees who lined up to question the council members.
Just minutes after the start of the meeting, demonstrators stood up and shouted, chanting phrases in support of Brown and raising their hands in the air — a gesture meant to show what witnesses said Brown had done before officer Darren Wilson shot him.
Given the racial unrest and tensions in the community, speakers targeted the council for mishandling the case and called for the mayor to step down. Here's The New York Times' breakdown:
Residents pelted the stone-faced officials with angry questions: Why had Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson officer who shot the unarmed black teenager on Aug. 9, not been arrested? Why were young African-American men so frequently arrested by the police? And why were so few black residents elected to city government?"
Before the meeting began, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson told The New York Times he hoped "everything will be smooth and quiet." But after the meeting began — during which the Council established new ruled on court fees and fines, along with a Citizens' Review Board for the police department — long lines formed as audience members prepared to speak.
The comments saw applause from the audience and silence from the council members. The New York Times wrote the meeting "erupted" as "hundreds of residents made angry appeals for change."
It was 10 minutes into the meeting when the audience turned emotional, chanting Mr. Brown's name and shouting at the Council members and mayor, James Knowles III, who sat on the stage in a packed church."
The AP, meanwhile, called the council meeting "rocky":
The first speaker to take the microphone during the public comment period said he was there for the mayor's job. It was a theme echoed throughout, as speaker after speaker expressed doubt about the city's planned reforms — and anger at the government officials seated on the podium.
The local Fox News affiliate highlighted the protests, writing that "a long line of speakers fired passionate comments" during the meeting. USA Today emphasized the meeting was largely peaceful, without any police presence or arrests made:
The meeting concluded after three hours of questioning, even though people were still waiting in line to add comments.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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