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As Ferguson continues to mobilize behind efforts to seek justice for 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was slain by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson,  11-year-old Marquis Govan, spoke out at a St. Louis County Council on Aug. 19 to explain the underlying tension in Ferguson and what it really stems from.


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NPR reports:

“The people of Ferguson, I believe, don’t need tear gas thrown at them,” Marquis said. “I believe they need jobs. I believe the people of Ferguson, they don’t need to be hit with batons. What they need is people to be investing in their businesses.”

“You’re paying attention to the looting and things like that, when the real issues aren’t being solved,” he told the council. “There’s a reason why those people are out there.”

 Marquis got his start in politics and activism at an early age, according to his great-grandmother, Jennie Bracy.

“Getting him up early in the morning to go to the polls with me, he became very interested,” Bracy says. “He knew that he needed to know these candidates so I would select the right person.”

Marquis says he first starting thinking about politics during the 2008 presidential election. He was 5.

“Yeah, I really did start at a very young age,” he says. “My grandmother always had the news on. We always watched funny shows. And I mean, everybody was talking about it. At points, I would stop by political shows, like, ‘What in the world are they talking about?’ And I started getting it.”

During a CBS “Sunday Morning” interview, Govan also touched on mistrust of police in the Black community, “Look, let me tell you why, to explain why kids at his school do not aspire to become police officers.”

If the children are our future, it’s looking bright with Govan taking the lead.

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