Ferguson starts social dialogue

FERGUSON, Mo. - Sometimes an event like the Mike Brown shooting brings awareness to the tension between citizens and police.

This time it's Ferguson, but Dr. Norman white of St. Louis University says it's a national issue that's challenging to understand.

"They harassed me personally for years and years. came to my house, ransacked my house, thinking I'm selling drugs," Terrance Dodd said, who has lived in Ferguson for 20 years. "I'm just fed up."

Ferguson's 2013 racial profiling statistics fro the Missouri Attorney Generals office show police stops, searches and arrests occurred heavily along racial lines.

Of the 5,384 police stops, 4,632 were black

"We can't expect that people of one racial group should not respect people of another racial group," Tim Maher said, Missouri St. Louis criminologist and racial profiling expert.

St. Louis University criminologist n\Norman White extensively studied race and crime.

"When you abridge the rights of people you begin to get a push back," White said.

White said the struggles in Ferguson are no different than the struggles in O'Fallon Park or in The Ville or countless communities around the country.

Dr. Dan Isom, the former police chief of St. Louis says out of necessity, police in Ferguson have begun interacting with protesters and Ferguson residents. Something he hopes continues long term.

White said decades of poverty, hunger, unemployment, and distrust of the police was a fuse waiting for a match. He also said it will be a missed opportunity with dire consequences if we don't address issues like racial profiling, unemployment and poverty.


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