Local News

Ferguson protests, riots hit home for Triangle residents

Posted August 18, 2014

— The protests, the riots, the looting – they are more than 800 miles from the Triangle, but for some, Ferguson, Mo., feels much closer.

There are conflicting reports about what exactly happened on Aug. 9 when 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed by a police officer in the St. Louis suburb.

But no matter what led to his death, the series of events that have followed have struck a cord with many black Americans, including locally.

"It's anger with the police departments here in Durham and Raleigh and all over the country," Irving Joyner, a law professor at North Carolina Central University, said Monday. "It is an ongoing fuel that can ignite any time."

With cases like the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., and the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died last month while in police custody, Joyner says the tension continues to build.

Licensed psychologist Tonya Armstrong says many African-Americans see such cases as proof that their community has much to overcome – a particularly hard reality for youth.

"Some of the behaviors we are seeing are as a result of their responses and their shock that racism is still alive and well in America," Armstrong said.

Armstrong says she believes frustration and anger are the reason for the looting and violence in Ferguson. She says it's easy for people to turn to negative behaviors to cope.

"I really encourage our communities of color as well as Americans at-large to think about what leads to healing in our country," she said.


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  • angryingram Aug 19, 2014

    Respect begets respect.

  • Jerry Sawyer Aug 19, 2014
    user avatar

    When will people start believing in themselves and get down to the business of building their lives.

  • Paladin2 Aug 19, 2014

    Armstrong: ""Some of the behaviors we are seeing are as a result of their responses and their shock that racism is still alive and well in America," Racism is alive and well in the black community, may'be more so. The black community only reacts to black deaths when a police/white person is involved. You don't see this happening in white, hispanic, or Asian cultures.

  • Tim Wallace Aug 19, 2014
    user avatar

    Its really simple. Don't break the law, don't resist arrest, be polite to the police officers and none of this happens.

  • grampasbaby Aug 19, 2014

    What's happening in Ferguson, MO has absolutely nothing to do with Durham. Stop trying to make this all about you people.

  • Forthe Newssite Aug 19, 2014
    user avatar

    "Some of the behaviors we are seeing are as a result of their responses and their shock that racism is still alive and well in America," Armstrong said."

    And sadly it is more alive and well in the AA community than any others. It is perpetuated by the AA community......

  • 68_dodge_polara Aug 19, 2014

    What really needs to change is that criminal gangs are no longer tolerated and stopping the no snitching attitude.

  • busyb97 Aug 19, 2014

    Most of the feelings of racism come from the black community themselves towards the whites. It just perpetuates the problem and keeps it alive when they react and behave this way (as in Ferguson), or when you have gangs of black youth shooting and killing ("knock-out game"), among others. Then add the NAACP into the mix.

    THAT is why there continue to be such problems. Sure- you won't eliminate them completely, but blacks aren't the only persecuted groups. But some of them sure act like it.

    From another black man:

  • Lorna Schuler Aug 19, 2014
    user avatar

    Please people, do the research and understand that it is not just that black community that is dealing with unarmed citizens being shot and killed by police in this country. It is in fact all races.

    I do understand that when there is a well publicized wrongful death by police that each and every deadly encounter between citizens and police can be made to appear malicious by those who have bitter feelings or an agenda.

    But I know also from my own research that things need to change in regards to hiring and training of our law officers and the mentality of some of their leaders. The war on drugs is a joke and has been for decades now. Now it's the anti-terrorism theme. All have been made suspicious, fearful and quick to anger. All in the name of safety. There is no such thing as 100% safety. We all have to work together to stop this growth in the militarization of our police which has been encouraged by the Feds.