Events surrounding the shooting of an an unarmed teenage boy in Ferguson, Missouri by a local police officer — and the subsequent protests — have held the attention of the media ever since it was first reported last week. Because of the rise in social media, new developments pour in as quickly as they occure, making it difficult to stay up to speed on the most recent revelations. To help facilitate the outpour of information, we've compiled this timeline of noteworthy events surrounding the developing circumstances in Ferguson.
Unarmed 18-year old Michael Brown was shot multiple times and killed by Ferguson city police officer Darren Wilson.
According to the BBC, at 11:51 am a local convenience store called 911 to report a robbery. This is what brought Officer Wilson to the area, although according to news outlet KSDK, Wilson did not know that Brown was a suspect in the robbery when he encountered him. Reportedly, Brown’s body was left outside an uncovered for four hours.
Police begin to release information about the event, although they still refuse to divulge the name of Officer Wilson, according to The Washington Post.
Peaceful protests are carried out throughout the day, but when night falls some of the protesters riot and loot nearby stores. Ferguson police arrest 32 people and two officers are injured, according to the Post.
The FBI officially launches a civil rights investigation on Brown’s death, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Brown family goes on record as disputing the police's account of their son's death.
The hashtag #IfTheyGunnedMeDown goes viral on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. According to USA Today, the campaign reached as far as Australia, Europe and Africa.
Those who organized the social protest argued they were using it as a platform to decry what they viewed as Brown’s unfair portrayal in the media, contrasting photos of themselves in accomplished settings with more juvenile pictures.
On the night of August 11, according to Vox, Ferguson police wearing riot gear fired tear gas and rubber bullets into crowds of protesters.
Amidst the aggressive crowd control targeted at what was reported to be a peaceful protest, participants in the demonstration began chanting "hands up, don't shoot," which according to Vox became the "unofficial motto of the Ferguson protests."
Rev. Al Sharpton arrived in Ferguson, according to Buzzfeed.
Sharpton urged the protestors to remain dedicated to the cause of peace.
"We did not come to divide the city, we came to bring the city under one accord," a local news channel reported Sharpton as saying.
“I know you’re angry, I know that this is outrageous, but we can’t be more outraged than his mom and dad and if they can hold their head dignity, so can you."
In his first released statement on the situation in Ferguson, President Obama asked for peace and understanding between police and protesters, according to the Wall Street Journal.
"The death of Michael Brown is heartbreaking, and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family and his community at this very difficult time," the president said in a statement on Brown's death, according to Whitehouse.gov.
"I know the events of the past few days have prompted strong passions, but as details unfold," the statement continued, "I urge everyone in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the country, to remember this young man through reflection and understanding."
On the morning of August 13, a protester was shot and wounded, according to the Washington Post.
Additionally, two reporters (Wesley Lowery of The Washington Post, and Ryan Reilly of the Huffington Post) were arrested for “trespassing” in a McDonalds in Ferguson.
Both were later released without charges, according to Lowery.
A group of online activists and hackers known as "Anonymous" released the alleged name of the officer who killed Brown, according to Buzzfeed.
The Ferguson Police Department stated that Anonymous had the wrong name, and as a result the Anonymous page was suspended by Twitter.
According to the Washington Post, Ferguson security was handed over to “Capt. Ron Johnson, an African-American raised in the community.” Protests were peaceful that night, the Post continued.
Johnson's largely peaceful handling of the demonstrations lead many to believe that reconciliation and healing within the community weren't far off.
The day after his appointment, Time Magazine called Johnson the "star of the Ferguson Crisis."
The police department officially released Officer Darren Wilson’s name to the public, according to the Wall Street Journal, stating that the 28 year old Wilson had worked as an officer for six years prior to the events of August 9.
Police released a surveillance video of a convenience store robbery, suggesting that Brown might have been implicated in the video, according to CBS.
The video angered many protesters, according to the Wall Street Journal, and that night some of them looted the convenience store Brown was accused of robbing.
Some even felt that the release of the video served only to tarnish the name of Brown, as Gov. Jay Nixon expressed in an interview on CBS.
"When you release pictures and you clearly are attempting to besmirch the victim of a shooting ... there are a lot of folks who are concerned about that," Slate reported him as saying.
Protests once again become violent, according to the Wall Street Journal, and Governor of Missouri Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency in Ferguson.
Nixon again ordered a town-wide curfew of midnight, which police vigorously enforced.
August 17 was “the most violent night of protests yet,” according to Buzzfeed.
Nixon again ordered a midnight curfew, but local reports suggest police were using tear gas as a form of crowd control as early as 9 pm.
According to The New York Times, officers became concerned that "some of the protesters were trying to encroach on their command post in a shopping center parking lot," thus leading them to more harsh crowd control tactics.
A police officer announced that in the early morning hours of Aug. 18, there were three shooting victims, a handful of stabbing victims, and seven people arrested for breaking curfew, Buzzfeed reported.
Nixon then went on to call in the National Guard, without informing the White House, and the first few busloads of National Guard troops arrived on the 18.
Brown’s first autopsy report was released, according to The Washington Post.
The report showed that Brown was shot six times, including two shots to the head.
The report also showed that Brown had traces of marijuana in his system when he died. Much like the reaction to the department store video, many argued that the possible evidence of drug use was peripheral.
"Marijuana use is not linked to violent behavior, nor is it a crime punishable by death in the United States," New York Magazine's Joe Coscarelli wrote on Monday.
However, Bryan Fischer of The American Family Association made waves by arguing that the proof of marijuana in his system serves as evidence that Brown had reason to attack the officer.
President Obama announced that he would send Attorney General Eric Holder to Ferguson to meet with community members, Politico reported.
Obama weighed in further on the situation, stressing patience and understanding on both sides.
While I understand the passions and the anger that arise over the death of Michael Brown," Politico reports the president as saying. "Giving into that anger by looting or carrying guns, and even attacking the police, only serves to raise tensions and stir chaos, it undermines, rather than advancing justice."