Amid the anxiety about worst-case scenarios after the grand jury decides whether to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, it’s easy to overlook how nonviolent the unrest has been thus far.
The protests have not caused death or widespread destruction. They have sparked conversations about inequality and structural racism, and forced concessions that the region’s criminal justice system is broken.
In a video released Thursday, Brown’s father, Michael Brown Sr., pleaded for peace. “Hurting others and destroying others is not the answer,” he said. “No matter what the grand jury decides, I do not want my son’s death to be in vain.”
THROUGH TODAY THERE HAVE BEEN:
• Zero deaths.
• Zero police officers seriously injured.
• 37 St. Louis County police officers with minor injuries; zero requiring overnight hospitalization.
• About 20 civilians sent to hospitals from protest sites.
• One person shot and wounded by St. Louis County police officer on Aug. 13, after, police said, he pointed a gun at an officer.
• On Aug. 14, a man was surrounded by protesters and punched in the chest by one. An ambulance came to the scene. The victim’s identity and condition were unknown.
• 10 people injured during a high-speed chase that ended in a collision on Aug. 17. That night, two adults suffered gunshot wounds, and two children were treated for tear gas exposure; all were treated and released.
• On Aug. 19, three people were treated at hospitals, two for breathing difficulties and one for minor injuries.
• On Nov. 6, a college student was beaten at a protest planning meeting after some people accused him of using his smartphone to broadcast a meeting that was supposed to be private.
• 28 businesses were reported to have been burglarized on Aug. 10, the first night of unrest after the Brown shooting. Many had glass windows shattered: Sprint Store, McDonalds, Beauty Town, STL Cordless |Taco Bell, Walmart, Walgreens, Toys R Us |The Original Red’s BBQ, Family Dollar, St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store, Ferguson Laundry| Metro PCS, Shoe Carnival, Zisser Tire & Auto, AutoZone, Foot Locker, Ross Dress for Less, Hibbett Sports, Kmart, DTLR Inc, Phillips 66, Meineke, Nu Fashion Beauty, Boost Mobile, Party City, Princess Beauty Supply/ Sam’s Meat Market and Liquor.
• One business in the city of St. Louis was burglarized in a targeted operation by looters on Aug. 11: Shoe Carnival.
• Insurance claims from property damage due to Ferguson protests reported to the state totaled $250,000 after the first month of unrest; one prominent local insurance adjuster who processed three claims on West Florissant Avenue estimated damages were no more than $5 million, which included $1 million to $1.5 million for the burned QuikTrip.
• By comparison, damage to property in the 2001 St. Louis hailstorm: $2 billion.
• And the 2012 St. Louis hailstorm: $1.2 billion.
• Another way of looking at it is that the two St. Louis weather events combined caused 640 times as much damage as the unrest after the Brown shooting so far.
• More perspective: In 1992, the damage to property in Los Angeles from riots and some 7,000 fires was about $1 billion.
• Windows broken in St. Louis during protests: 25, according to St. Louis police Chief Sam Dotson.
• Flags stolen and burned in Shaw neighborhood after the VonDerrit Myers Jr. shooting: At least two.
• The Washington Post described Ferguson as “a burned-out symbol of racial and class divisions in America.”
• Number of buildings destroyed by fire: One.
• That was QuikTrip, hit by vandals Aug. 10. On Sept. 23, tension flared when a memorial to Brown burned. Someone poured gasoline around the outside of the Whistle Stop Café, a former train depot and a historic Ferguson site off South Florissant Road, and lit it on fire. The cafe had minor damage but never closed.
• Arrests: About 400.
• Why the disproportionate images of violence in St. Louis?