The Month After Michael Brown’s Death: A Ferguson Timeline

A button featuring a picture of Michael Brown is worn by a resident during a press conference with Ferguson, Mo., Police Chief Thomas Jackson Aug. 13, 2014.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

It’s been a month since Ferguson, Mo., Police Officer Darren Wilson gunned down unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown, setting off nationwide demands, first for justice for Brown’s family, and later, for protesters subjected to shockingly aggressive policing by a militarized force. In just 30 days, “Ferguson” has come to serve as shorthand for police misconduct, racial injustice and the devaluation of black lives. The story’s far from over. But here’s how we got here. 

Saturday, Aug. 9: Day of Michael Brown’s death

Michael Brown, 18, is shot and killed by a yet-to-be-named Ferguson, Mo., police officer. His body is left in the street, uncovered, for four hours.


News of Brown’s death quickly spreads on social media as hashtags such as #JusticeForMike become popular. Along with the news of Brown’s death, pictures and videos of his grieving mother and stepfather also spread on social media.

Community members protest outside Ferguson’s police headquarters.

Sunday, Aug. 10: One day after Brown’s death

St. Louis County Police Chief Joe Belmar states that Brown physically assaulted the still unidentified officer. In Belmar’s account, Brown reached for the officer’s weapon, after which, one shot was fired from within the car before others were fired from outside the vehicle.


Leslie McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr., Brown’s parents, hire Benjamin Crump to represent their family.

Protests and vigils formed by Ferguson community members continue to grow. 


Monday, Aug. 11: Two days after Brown’s death

Brown’s parents hold a press conference. Brown Sr. tells the press, “We don’t want no violence. Michael would have wanted no violence. We need justice for our son.”


The FBI announces that it will launch a parallel investigation of the shooting in addition to the investigation being led by local authorities.

Protests continue and police release tear gas on protesters gathered on West Florissant Ave. in Ferguson.


Tuesday, Aug. 12: Three days after Brown’s death

President Barack Obama releases an official statement on Brown’s death, urging the country to “remember this young man through reflection and understanding.”


Thursday, Aug. 14: Five days after Brown’s death

Obama addresses the nation again and asks that the police be “open and transparent” during the investigation.


Vigils for Michael Brown are held nationwide.

Friday, Aug. 15: Six days after Brown’s death

Ferguson police identify Darren Wilson as the officer who shot and killed Brown.

Saturday, Aug. 16: Seven days after Brown’s death

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon issues a state of emergency for Ferguson. A curfew is ordered to go into effect the night of Saturday, Aug. 16.


Sunday, Aug. 17: Eight days after Brown’s death

Protesters defy the curfew and police respond by releasing tear gas and rubber bullets. One protester is shot. Seven protesters are arrested.


A family-ordered autopsy shows that Brown was shot six times—twice in the head and four times in the right arm. The autopsy shows that he was shot while facing front.

Monday, Aug. 18: Nine days after Brown’s death

Obama announces that he will be sending U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to Ferguson.


Tuesday, Aug. 19: 10 days after Brown’s death

Forty-seven people are arrested during protests.

Wednesday, Aug. 20: 11 days after Brown’s death

Holder travels to Ferguson and visits Brown’s family.

Thursday, Aug. 21: 12 days after Brown’s death

The governor withdraws the National Guard from Ferguson.

Friday, Aug. 22: 13 days after Brown’s death

Seven protesters are arrested.

Saturday, Aug. 23: 14 days after Brown’s death

Brown’s parents travel to New York to march with supporters of Eric Garner, the man killed by New York City police on Staten Island.


Sunday, Aug. 24: 15 days after Brown’s death

The Brown family requests that there be no protests on Monday, Aug. 25, the day of Brown’s funeral.


Monday, Aug. 25: 16 days after Brown’s death

Michael Brown is laid to rest.


Wednesday, Sept. 3: 25 days after Brown’s death

Police records show that Brown has never had an adult criminal record.

Thursday, Sept. 4: 26 days after Brown’s death

Holder announces that the Justice Department will launch a broad civil rights investigation into the Ferguson, Mo., police department.


Diamond Sharp is an editorial fellow at The Root. Follow her on Twitter.

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