Michael Brown, an 18-year-old Black man, was fatally shot by police officer Darren Wilson on August 9, 2014. Brown and a friend were walking in the street when the officer told them to use the sidewalk. An altercation ensued, and the officer fired 12 gunshots, 7 of which hit Brown, and Brown died almost immediately. The officer claimed that the shots were fired in self-defense and that Brown had come up to the police car, but Brown was unarmed. The killing led to much unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, and several protests ensued. A grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson in 2014, and Wilson resigned several days after that announcement. When a new prosecuting attorney, Wesley Bell, the county's first Black prosecutor, took office in 2019, Michael Brown's family hoped that he would reopen the case and prosecute the officer. However, in July 2020, Bell announced that he would not charge the officer. Many people were upset by this news, especially amidst the uproar over George Floyd's killing just a few months prior.
A memorial sitting on the spot that Brown was fatally shot
United States v. City of Ferguson
The Department of Justice conducted an investigation of the Ferguson Police Department for civil rights violations, and they issued a consent decree in 2016.
Michael's Brown parents also settled their wrongful death lawsuit with the city of Ferguson, whose insurance company paid $1.5 million to Brown's parents.