Michael Brown, 18, was shot dead by a police officer Saturday, inciting outrage among residents who gathered near the scene as they chanted “kill the police.”
According to reports, Brown was headed to his grandmother’s house in Ferguson, Missouri when he was gunned down around 2:15 p.m. Although it is unclear as to what prompted the Ferguson police officer to open fire, multiple witnesses told KMOV that Brown was unarmed and had his hands up in the air when he was shot.
The 18-year-old 2014 graduate of Normandy High School in St. Louis was on track to begin classes at Vatterott College today according to relatives.
The shooting sparked protests by residents and on social media, the hashtag #IfTheyGunnedMeDown gained popularity as users uploaded contrasting photos of themselves to bring attention to the way Brown was portrayed in the media.
— Name Ring BELLS (@Heartbreak_Rell) August 10, 2014
Americans, Black Americans in particular, are concerned with the way that the lives of dead Black men will be portrayed after they are slain by police officers. The juxtaposition of photos that show the same individual in two different settings are initiating conversation about social media photos. The goal is to show that people, especially young Black people, should be able to live their lives online without worrying if an innocent photo of them having fun, playing around or just living life will be re-appropriated as “thuggery.” Here are some of the posts.
— I Am Who I Am (@King_Ghidorah5) August 11, 2014
— Aug. 25th #AVO (@WhoISdeante) August 11, 2014
— Errol Williams (@ImFreshlySnipes) August 11, 2014
The investigation of Brown’s death is still underway.