KU Professor of African Studies explains how history, politics factored into outrage in Ferguson

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - KU professor of African Studies Randal Maurice Jelks explained that the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson Mo., was not the only the trigger that caused an already frustrated community to respond with outrage, protests and some with violence.

Jelks was interviewed on 41 Action News Midday on Thursday by anchor Cynthia Newsome.

"The first thing that I noticed as I watched the events unfold was the militarization of the police," said Jelks.

He was talking about the assault rifles and military vehicles police used to respond to protestors. He explained that the response made it appear that the police and the community were at war against each other.

The KU professor also said that the community's feeling of helplessness and oppression started long before Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown.

"Only three of the 53 police officers in Ferguson are African-American," said Jelks.

He explained that drug abuse, economics and the feeling of not being heard by political leaders also played in role in creating the environment that was ripe to erupt when Brown was shot.

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