People in Ferguson talk about Michael Brown’s shooting and the aftermath

BY Mike Fritz and Quinn Bowman  August 20, 2014 at 3:20 AM EST

FERGUSON, Mo. — Beyond the gas masks, violence and clashes with police, there are concerned members in the Ferguson community who want to be heard. PBS NewsHour reporters Quinn Bowman and Mike Fritz walked the streets of the town, interviewing demonstrators and citizens about their reactions to the shooting, the protests and the aftermath.

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George Paige, Ferguson, Missouri

“My nerves are real bad about just the whole situation. Because some days I wanna be mad, but some days I can’t be mad. Because somebody gotta have structure for those young people. We gotta have a level head for them young people. I can see their grief. I seen it. I lived it. So I know how they’re feeling.”


Phyllis Burston, 55, Ferguson, Missouri

“To me the police and all that have blown this out of proportion. The trucks? You know it’s like we’re in Beirut!”


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Devario McDonald, 28, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

“I think … that the officer should get in trouble, because you done shot this person down. This person wasn’t a threat, this person hadn’t had no weapon on him. Nothing. This person didn’t try to fight you. You just shot this person down like an animal.”


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Talisha Bentley, 25, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

“How are we supposed to feel comfortable if police officers are out killing people for no reason? Maybe there is a reason, but the reason should never resort to taking someone’s life.”


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Yale Harris, 18, Ferguson, Missouri

“I’m trying to get justice for what happened to Mike Brown. Because I actually went to school with him. I know he was a cool person to be around. He was very calm.”


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Ahyria Butler, 23, Ferguson, Missouri

“The police feel like they can do whatever they want…You’re here to protect us, not kill us, not harm us. If you’re gonna wear that badge wear it pridefully. Don’t wear it like it’s the I-can-do-what-I-want-and-get-away-with-it badge. That’s not it.”


For more voices from the people in Ferguson, watch PBS NewsHour’s Wednesday broadcast.

Photos by Mike Fritz/PBS NewsHour

Correction: An earlier version of this post misspelled the name of Ferguson resident Yale Harris.