Ferguson, Missouri has been racked with violent protests since the police shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown earlier this month.
Racial tensions that have been simmering for decades in the St. Louis suburb likely contributed to the quick escalation of the protests.
Here’s a look at the demographics in Ferguson (via Pete Saunders):
As you can see, there are income, housing, and education divides between the city’s white and black residents.
In addition to all that, Ferguson’s police force of 53 officers has only three black cops.
St. Louis County is also very segregated — the urban area has been experiencing “white flight” for decades.
All of this adds to the tension between the cops that have been trying to tame the protests and the Ferguson residents who have been protesting.
Police say Brown lunged for an officer’s gun when he was shot on August 9, but a friend of Brown who witnessed the incident said Brown had his hands up when he was shot. The cop who shot him stopped him for walking in the middle of the street and blocking traffic.
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