July 30, 2020
Today, we learned that St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell has decided not to charge former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown, Jr. on August 9, 2014. For many, this news has unearthed painful memories and reopened still-unhealed wounds. In a moment during which many thousands of people are taking to the streets to demand we build a society in which Black lives matter, we are reminded yet again that all too often, in the eyes of our criminal legal system, they do not.
The organizations below first came together in 2015 following the tragic killing of Michael Brown, Jr. and the Ferguson Uprising that his death spurred. We have aligned around a vision for this region rooted in principles of justice, equity, and self-determination in which the longstanding oppressive systems of power are dismantled and replaced. We do the work of changing systems and shifting power because we know that the status quo does not and never will serve the interests of poor people and Black people in this region. Audre Lorde taught us long ago that “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” And yet, the pain remains.
Today, our hearts go out to the family of Michael Brown, Jr. We stand in solidarity with Lezley McSpadden and Michael Brown, Sr., who are just days away from six years without their beloved child. We hope that they will be enveloped by a community of love and support to face yet another moment of heartbreak and disappointment.
We now recommit to the work of transforming our communities to honor the life and loss of Michael Brown, Jr. and the homegrown movement that he inspired.
RIP Mike Brown.
Action St. Louis
Metropolitan Congregations United
Organization for Black Struggle
Peace Economy Project
GrassRoots Accountability Movement
ACLU of Missouri
United Congregations of Metro East
Forward Through Ferguson
Missouri Jobs with Justice
Sisters of Loretto/ Loretto Community