On Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Mo., Darren Wilson, a white police officer, fatally shot Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager. Brown’s body was left in the street for four hours.
Brown’s shooting was a familiar American tragedy in a country where a study found young black men ages 15 to 19 are 21 times more likely to be shot by police officers than young white men of the same age.
But it became a global story when local police — outfitted in tactical hardware that made them seem more like an occupying army than a force meant to “protect and serve” the people — cracked down on protesters and detained journalists. While cops were firing rubber bullets and tear gas at demonstrators, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon established a curfew to keep people off the streets.
The world noticed.