In August of 2014, Ferguson, Missouri Police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18-year old Michael Brown in the middle of Ferguson’s Canfield Street. Although Wilson stated that Brown attempted to steal Wilson’s gun, witnesses at the scene stated that Brown had his hands in the air when Wilson shot him six times. Eight months later, in Baltimore, Maryland, 25-year old Freddie Gray died from spinal injuries received while in custody of the Baltimore Police Department. The two incidents, coming on the heels of a rash of other police-involved deaths of black citizens, touched off waves of protests in Missouri, Maryland and nationwide, and ultimately led to the creation of the Black Lives Matter movement. Five years after Brown and Gray’s death, Michigan State University Criminologist Jennifer Cobbina has published “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot: Why The Protests in Ferguson and Baltimore Matter and How they Changed America.”
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