One year after Michael Brown was killed by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, NewsOne Now questions what has changed in the 365 days since the St. Louis suburb was upended and eventually left smoldering after protests and clashes with militarized police set the city ablaze.
Missouri State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal and activist Tef Poe spoke with NewsOne Now guest host Jeff Johnson and the Straight Talk Panel Monday morning about what has and what has not changed since Brown’s murder.
“Legislatively, not much has changed. We are still being oppressed every single day and there are people who are in the rank-and-file who think that having court reform is the simple answer for the hurt and the pain and frustration that the people experience every single day — it’s a cover-up,” said Chappelle-Nadal.
The State Senator expressed optimism regarding the interim chief of police, Andre Anderson, but also is skeptical of his impact on the city of Ferguson, saying, “Just because he is African-American, does not mean that he is going to be the asset that we need on the ground.”
Chappelle-Nadal added, “We have seen African-American police officers chokehold other African-Americans, so we really have to look at his actions.”
Tef Poe, an activist and founder of Hands Up United, expressed his displeasure with the current political system and explained that just because people are not voting in local elections in Ferguson, does not mean they are not politicized.
“In most cases, especially in impoverished communities such as the one like Ferguson, there is a conscious decision to not partake in the system that produces the same exact results whether you vote or not.”
Poe later said, “In this community, not voting represents a will to show self-reliance — to say, ‘you know what, why are we constantly going to these people?’ We can vote our eyes out and the president is still going to tear-gas us or still co-sign our tear-gassing or still call the protesters looters or whatever.”
“So at this point we’ve chosen to invest in ourselves. We don’t really care about the national narrative of ‘these young people aren’t busy doing this and doing that,'” said Poe.
Watch NewsOne Now guest host Jeff Johnson, Missouri State Senator Nicole Chappelle-Nadal, activist Tef Poe, and the Straight Talk Panel discuss where Ferguson stands one year after the murder of Mike Brown in the video clip above.
Subscribe to the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast on iTunes.