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Grand jury to announce decision on charging Wilson

Word is that the Grand Jury will come to a decision on whether or not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. The decisions was expected to come by 5 p.m. local time, or 6 p.m. eastern, on Monday, Nov. 24.

As of 6:15 p.m. eastern, no announcement has been reported. The Ferguson Files is committed to staying on top of this story. If you have any information, please comment below. I’ll be on the road the rest of the evening, but plan on following up on this story tomorrow.

Attention voices of St. Louis: Ferguson Files seek your contribution

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The Ferguson Files wants to hear from the voices of St. Louis. The site was initially formed to present the reporting of its founder, journalist David DesRoches, but it has since evolved to become a forum for people to express their views on what’s taking place in this St. Louis suburb, and beyond.

Are you a student who lives in Ferguson? We want to hear from you. A police officer covering the Ferguson beat? Let us know your thoughts. Are you a disabled resident who can’t leave your house because of the blockades? Let us know. Tell us your story. Are you out of work, looking for a job? Tired of the racial tensions? Write about it. Take photos. Record video. Send it to us. We can’t guarantee we’ll post everything (we won’t print libelous or incendiary material), but we’ll look at it all.

The focus should be on not only what’s wrong with racism in Ferguson and in the United States, but what can be done about it. How can we heal as a city, as a nation? What is it like being young and black in a racially tense neighborhood? What is like to be white and always made to feel like you’re the bad guy? How can we bridge these gaps and find unity as human beings?

The focus should be on positive forward movement. No attacking. No finger pointing. Call out the problems, yes. Call out the roots of the problems, absolutely. But if you’re going to call foul, you better come with a solution.

Let’s get this taboo topic out in the open, once and for all, in all truth and honesty. Race is neither something to be ignored, nor is it something to be overemphasized. It is what it is — a physical and cultural construct. Nothing more. Nothing less. It is something to be celebrated, not feared. Embraced, not abandoned. Liberals pretend we’re beyond race while conservatives pretend race invades everything. Both are right, yet both are wrong. Let’s talk about why they’re right, and why they’re wrong. Let’s do it with positivity and respect and dedication. Let’s find a way to reach a single simple goal: To heal the nation of racial animosity.

If you’re up for the task, send us your thoughts or ideas or photos or YouTube links to . Who knows, maybe this little website could help end a conversation that has taken thousands of years too long to complete.

Healing St. Louis, Part 1: Ferguson got their attention


A young girl muses over the memorial to Michael Brown in the Canfield neighborhood of St. Louis.

Jermell speaks deliberately when he talks about his hometown. At six-two, well over 200 pounds, Jermell is an imposing figure. If he were to get angry, it would not be irrational to become afraid. He is also black, which carries with it stereotypes and biases that could, unfortunately, intensify that fear, even among the most open-minded people.

It’s a reality in America that is rarely if ever confronted or discussed. It’s fallen into an abyss of taboo — a place where conservatives and liberals alike claim colorblindness while still harboring subconscious biases against African Americans. The ongoing crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, has laid this problem out succinctly. Many are scrambling to understand this reality, its context, and its complicated and obscured history.

Jermell knows this all too well. Like many black Americans, he has his story. He has many stories. The shooting death of Micheal Brown was just the boiling point.

He complains that some protesters have belittled the rioters for calling negative attention to what’s happening in Ferguson. He then juxtaposes that complaint against the arrival of famous figureheads and the attention of national media soon after the looting. For him, it was a means to an end.

“If you try to talk, nobody listens, so we had to do what we had to do,” the 27-year-old said.

Of course not all protesters agree with that assessment. But his point is hard to ignore – if the riots never happened, would media from around the world have gathered in Ferguson to report this story? Or would it simply have remained the story of the week, and fallen off the mainstream radar as soon as another story broke? Had looting not occurred, would it have been just another story about an unarmed black teenager being shot and killed by a police officer? Just another story? Just another story…

Read “Healing St. Louis Part 2: Criminal justice” tomorrow.