One year after Ferguson shooting, conversation about race continues in Minnesota


One year ago, on Aug. 9, 2014, a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, shot 18-year-old Michael Brown, an unarmed black man - an act that changed and challenged the nation's discourse about race and law enforcement.

Demonstrations ignited the street of Ferguson and captured the nation's attention, giving birth to the "Black Lives Matter" movement.

Minnesotans held their own protests, shutting down Interstate 35W and disrupting one of the Mall of America's busiest shopping days.

Around the nation Sunday, there was a moment of silence to remember Brown's death. In Ferguson, Brown's father lead a parade through the city. In Brooklyn, protestors staged a die-in, the Associated Press reports.

The Washington Post reports police have shot and killed 24 unarmed black men so far this yearAccording to FOX 9, more than 300 black Americans were killed "at the hands of police," since Michael Brown's shooting.

The national slogan "Black Lives Matter" continues to resonate in conversation, especially in Minnesota.

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Minneapolis chapter President Nekima Levy Pounds tells FOX 9, “Many of us who're on the front lines, who've traveled to Ferguson, who've been watching this issue believe that we're one incident away from something like that happening here.”

A few months ago, the American Civil Liberties Union published a study of low-level crime cases in Minneapolis, which shows people of color are much more likely to be arrested than white people.

The study looked at arrests made by the Minneapolis police department for low-level crimes between January 2012 and September 2014. It concluded that black people were 8.7 more times likely to be arrested than whites. For Native Americans, the rate was 8.6 times more likely than whites.

The city's population is 64 percent white, 19 percent black, 10 percent other/mixed race, 6 percent Asian and 2 percent Native American.

In response to the study, both Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and Police Chief Janeé Harteau said they believe the city needs to take steps to reduce this gap.

The ACLU includes a video of a case study involving two black teenage boys who videotaped an encounter with police. (Warning: this video does contain strong language).

Here's what some Minnesotans are saying about what Ferguson taught them:

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