Today is the three year anniversary of Michael Brown Jr.’s death in Ferguson. Brown, who was unarmed on Aug. 9, 2014, was shot and killed by former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Missouri reporter Jill Enders, who was in Ferguson on day one of Brown’s death, says the events hit her in a personal way. She grew up in North County near Ferguson.
“To see the turmoil and the devastation from a neighboring town, it was really quite heartbreaking and shocking,” says Enders. “I think, too, the national media misrepresented a lot of it, made it worse than what it seemed.”
Enders tells Missourinet she did not feel threatened while reporting in Ferguson.
“When the protesters burnt down the QuikTrip and there was all that devastation, we continued to see that type of footage over and over again,” says Enders. “I can tell you, covering many of those protests, they weren’t violent. Did they engage in civil unrest? Sure.”
Enders says the city has not been all “doom and gloom” since that period. She says the city has recovered from chaos created by Brown’s death and a grand jury’s decision to not indict Wilson. Enders, who covers Ferguson City Council meetings and other Ferguson functions, began to notice the community bouncing back about six months later and it continues to move forward.
“Along the Florissant corridor of Ferguson, people had more of a positive attitude,” says Enders. “Along the west Florissant corridor is where the shooting took place. I found people there did not feel that there was much change.”
Enders has won awards for her reporting about Brown’s death and the events that unfolded thereafter.
“I wanted to show that Ferguson had rebounded and I don’t think we’ve heard enough of that,” she says.
Enders thinks Ferguson can serve as an example to other communities in distress.
“When you go back to what happened that night, anyone thought that Ferguson was going to recover as quickly as it did, or if at all. I think that speaks volumes,” says Enders.
Several community events are scheduled today, including the annual Michael Brown Justice Walk.