No charges were ever filed against white Ferguson, Mo., police Officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed 18-year-old unarmed Michael Brown last summer, but authorities are pursuing assault charges against an unarmed black man who allegedly pushed a city marshal during a demonstration against police brutality, Time magazine reports.
Rasheen Aldridge, 20, the youngest member of the Ferguson, Mo., reform commission and a key figure in a wave of ongoing protests against police violence in the black community, has been charged with assault, the online magazine reports. Aldridge has said that he didn’t see the marshal get pushed by any of the protesters.
Aldridge was charged Thursday with a misdemeanor in an incident outside St. Louis’ City Hall last week, which was captured on video, the report says. Time magazine writes that he is the youngest member of the Ferguson Commission, a group of community members assembled by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to study the social issues in the city that have contributed to the protests. The members of the commission, including Aldridge, visited Washington, D.C., Monday to meet President Barack Obama.
The assault charge against Aldridge, compared with, say, no charges against Wilson for taking the life of an unarmed man, is emblematic of the problems blacks face in America’s criminal-justice system. The nation’s lopsided system explains why so many demonstrators—black and white—have taken to the streets to participate in ongoing protests against grand jury decisions to clear Wilson as well as New York City police Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the choke hold death of Eric Garner.
Read more at Time magazine.