INJUSTICE/CIVIL RIGHTS/SOCIAL JUSTICE: Michael Brown and Ferguson, Mo. Police

What are Civil Rights?

Civil Rights

Personal liberties that belong to an individual, owing to his or her status as a citizen or resident of a particular country or community.

The most common legal application of the term civil rights involves the rights guaranteed to U.S. citizens and residents by legislation  and by the Constitution. 

Civil rights protected by the Constitution include Freedom of Speech and freedom from certain types of discrimination.

The various civil rights laws have made it illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, handicap, 

or national origin. Discrimination that interferes with voting rights and equality of opportunity in education, employment, 

and housing is unlawful.


The Civil Rights Act of 1964

Civil Rights Act (1964)

In a nationally televised address on June 6, 1963, President John F. Kennedy

urged the nation to take action toward guaranteeing equal treatment of every

American regardless of race. Soon after, Kennedy proposed that Congress consider

civil rights legislation that would address voting rights, public accommodations,

school desegregation, nondiscrimination in federally assisted programs, and more.

Despite Kennedy’s assassination in November of 1963, his proposal culminated in the

Civil Rights Act of 1964, signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson just a few hours

after House approval on July 2, 1964. The act outlawed segregation in businesses such

as theaters, restaurants, and hotels. It banned discriminatory practices in employment and

ended segregation in public places such as swimming pools, libraries, and public schools.

Passage of the act was not easy. House opposition bottled up the bill in the House Rules

Committee. In the Senate, opponents attempted to talk the bill to death in a filibuster. In early

1964, House supporters overcame the Rules Committee obstacle by threatening to send the

bill to the floor without committee approval. The Senate filibuster was overcome through the

floor leadership of Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, the considerable support of

President Lyndon Johnson, and the efforts of Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen of

Illinois, who convinced Republicans to support the bill.


DOJ Report on Civil Rights Violations

What the forensic evidence says about Michael Brown’s death

What Happened in Ferguson?

Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed on Aug. 9, 2014, by Darren Wilson, a white police officer, in Ferguson, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis. The shooting prompted protests that roiled the area for weeks. On Nov. 24, the St. Louis County prosecutor announced that a grand jury decided not to indict Mr. Wilson. The announcement set off another wave of protests. In March, the Justice Department called on Ferguson to overhaul its criminal justice system, declaring that the city had engaged in constitutional violations

Ferguson, MO.

DOJ announces findings of Civil Rights violations

Books at TRHS

Understanding the grand jury ruling on Michael Brown’s death

Darren Wilson

Darren Dean Wilson (born May 14, 1986) is an American former police officer. He is known for shooting and killing Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African American man, who had an altercation with Wilson, leading to the controversial death of Brown on August 9, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri.


Darren Wilson Is Cleared of Rights Violations in Ferguson Shooting

Important Supreme Court Cases for Civil Rights

3 Minutes

Three minutes - that is how long it took from the time Officer Darren Wilson confronted teenager Michael Brown at 12:01, and 12:04 when other officers arrived on the scene to find Brown dead.

Those three minutes, and the fallout that followed, have been the source of protests, headlines and general unrest in the St Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. But what exactly happened in that time is still a source of confusion.

AUGUST 10 & 17, 2015 ISSUE New Yorker Magazine

Why Did Michael Brown Die in Ferguson?

CNN NEWS: What we know about the Michael Brown Shooting