When 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed in a confrontation with police in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014, the aftermath was so devastating it seemed there was no place for America to go but up.
Then came the next 24 months.
In the two years since Brown was fatally shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, there’s been a pileup of other controversial police encounters that have resulted in the deaths of unarmed black men.
During one harrowing week this July, two police-involved shootings happened within two days, only to be followed by a deadly attack targeting Dallas police officers. The country then mourned a second attack on police on July 17 in Baton Rouge.
Meanwhile, the protests and calls for justice have only grown louder. As the headlines stack up, here’s a recap of how this outrage began and why Ferguson was the gas that fueled the fire:
There’s still conflicting information about Brown’s death
Michael Brown and Darren Wilson encountered one another as Brown walked with a friend, Dorian Johnson, down the middle of Canfield Drive after 12 p.m. on Saturday, August 9, 2014. Wilson told authorities he approached the two young men because they were blocking traffic.
What happened next depends on whom you ask.
Authorities said that Brown attacked Wilson in his car and tried to take his gun. Others said Wilson was the aggressor, and that Brown had his hands up when Wilson began firing.
What is clear is that Wilson shot and killed Brown, who was unarmed. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the entire fatal encounter took less than two minutes.
Protests went on for months
Crowds quickly gathered at the scene of the shooting as Brown’s body remained in the street for four hours.