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And according to individuals who said they had witnessed the shooting, he had either been gunned down while running from the officer or facing him with his hands raised, pleading, “Hands up, don’t shoot.”The next day, Ferguson was convulsed in rioting, and protests broke out in other cities.Black Lives Matter sponsored a series of “Freedom Rides” to Ferguson, and its Internet messages went viral.

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The entertainment and news media lavished attention on the new movement.

Beyoncé, Rihanna, Pharrell Williams, and dozens of others made a video of support while actor Jesse Williams won the Black Entertainment Network’s Humanitarian Award for a separate video that he had made about Black Lives Matter.

And if these things are not true, then what is Black Lives Matter really after?

To explore this we must first look more closely at the story of Ferguson.

During its first year, the group drew little attention. In that Missouri city, on August 14, 2014, Michael Brown was shot dead by a white police officer.

The 18-year-old and 300-pound Brown, described as a “gentle giant,” carried no weapon at the time of his death.

What it found, perhaps to its own surprise, was not merely ambiguity, which might have prompted the grand jurors to vote against an indictment. also corroborates Wilson’s account of the struggle over the gun and when the gun was fired, as do witness accounts that Wilson fired at least one shot from inside the SUV.

Rather, the evidence lent decisive support to Officer Wilson’s contention that he had acted in self-defense, and it showed that the widely circulated narrative about Brown and the actions that led to his death was a tissue of lies. Brown ran and Wilson began to pursue him, but Brown stopped after about a block and turned around, heading back toward Wilson.

Suddenly it found itself at the center of what the New York Times called “the most formidable American protest movement of the 21st century.” On the ground in Ferguson, new leaders emerged, notably De Ray Mckesson, a former school administrator who became a peripatetic protestor in cities across the Midwest, the South, and his home town of Baltimore, and Johnetta Elzie, a 26-year-old Ferguson native.

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