In Gwen Ifill’s column Friday, “The optics of a national crisis,” she writes about how national events become remembered by the images that define them.
Twitter and Vine, she said, “were consumed this week with videos of tear gas, arrests and college students with their hands raised over their heads. Sen. Claire McCaskill realized the power of optics when she got herself to a black church in Ferguson to speak to her constituents about the violence breaking out all around them.”
Here are some of the images from Ferguson, Missouri, this week.
On Friday morning, people gathered in the lot of the Quick Trip gas station — which was burned during rioting — as Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson released the name of the Ferguson police officer responsible for the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown on August 9.
Darren Wilson, a six-year veteran of the police department, is the officer being investigated in Brown’s death, Jackson said on Friday, breaking a weeklong silence on the officer’s identity.
Jackson also said that Michael Brown was believed to have been involved in a robbery at a nearby convenience store earlier that day, though he later added that he Wilson was likely not aware of the alleged robbery.
This announcement came after days of demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri, and a police response that included shooting rubber bullets and firing tear gas to force protesters from Ferguson’s business district into nearby neighborhoods. In this photo, an Al Jazeera television crew scrambles for cover as police fire tear gas into their reporting location.
And here a child uses a rag to shield her face from tear gas being fired by police.
The events in Ferguson have drawn attention to the degree in which local police are becoming more heavily armed. For days, police in the St. Louis suburb carried assault rifles and ammunition…
…and wore camouflage, helmets and riot gear.
Protesters responded with arms raised, chanting, “Hands up, don’t shoot,” words that have become symbolic of this week’s events.
President Barack Obama, wearing an American flag pin, called for peace and calm during a press briefing Thursday afternoon while on vacation with his family on Martha’s Vineyard.
And later that day, Capt. Ronald Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, who was appointed by the governor to take control of protest security operations in the city of Ferguson, also pleaded for calm.
The atmosphere in Ferguson changed on Thursday after police toned down their response to demonstrators. In a symbolic move, officers — including Johnson — marched alongside protesters.
Meanwhile, crowds rallied in other cities, including New York, Washington, D.C., and Boston. In a rally in Boston on Thursday, Camila Carpio, 18, held a sign with names of people killed by police officers.
And in Baltimore on Thursday, Amelia Vitek, 6, watches protestors and signs outside of the Clarence Mitchell Jr. Courthouse.