Tension in Ferguson at 'Boiling Point,' Residents Say

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FERGUSON, Missouri — Time hasn’t healed the anger here. Eight people were arrested during protests outside the police station on South Florissant Avenue on Sunday night, and residents say the tension is still palpable, nearly two months after Michael Brown was killed by police officer Darren Wilson.

At a basketball court in Forestwood Park, about a mile from where the shooting happened on Aug. 9, Tyrone Parker said he feared the community was about to hit a "another boiling point" as a grand jury weighs possible charges. “I don’t see nobody that has calmed down yet,” he said.

Sunny skies and unseasonably high temperatures warmed the players as they talked about the case during a pickup game on Monday. Another player, Marquis Rodgers, said the mostly African-American community was waiting for justice. “That’s all we want. I guarantee you [when] we get justice, things will start cooling down way faster. But the fact that they just keep dragging this along, the more they drag it along, the angrier people are going to get.”

Wilson, who is white, killed the unarmed teen in the St. Louis suburb as he was walking down Canfield Drive with his friend Dorian Johnson. Minutes before the shooting, police said Brown stole cigars from a Ferguson Market and Liquor, a nearby convenience store. The shooting remains under investigation and the grand jury is expected to issue its findings later this year.

“I think that’s really the anger here,” said Andrew Henderson, another hoops player. “It goes without saying that [Wilson] should be incarcerated, there should be procedures, a protocol that should’ve been followed, hadn’t been followed, so that’s where the anger comes in.”



— Aaron Mermelstein