In light of the ongoing series of protests and civil disorder that began the day after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown on August 9, 2014, many artists have responded to the situation. Many such as Joel Houston of Hillsong UNITED, Yolanda Adams, Rhett Walker Band, Missy Elliott, Reba McEntire and others have offered up their prayers over this messy situation. While Garth Brooks has even cancelled his promotional endeavors out of respect of those who have been victims of the ordeal.
The whole incident incident happpened when Michael Brown, an 18-year-old male, died after being shot at least six times by Darren Wilson, a 28-year-old Ferguson Police Department officer. Brown was walking in the middle of the street along with his friend Dorian Johnson when Wilson stopped them and told them to use the sidewalk. From there, a conflict between the two erupted at the vehicle, as Brown allegedly assaulted the officer through his window. The officer allegedly reached for his weapon inside his vehicle shooting Brown in the thumb then shooting when Brown allegedly charged the officer, ending with Brown's death from multiple gunshot wounds.
Numerous eyewitness reports have emerged in the aftermath of the incident. The police response to the shooting was heavily criticized, as was the slow rate of information making its way out to the public. Many of the documents from the grand jury were released when the grand jury declined to indict Officer Wilson.
An ongoing series of protests and civil disorder began the day after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri. As the details of the original shooting event emerged from investigators, police established curfews and deployed riot squads to maintain order. Along with peaceful protests, there was looting and violent unrest in the vicinity of the original shooting. According to media reports, there was police militarization when dealing with protests in Ferguson. The unrest continued after the police officer who shot Michael Brown was not indicted by a grand jury.
Writing on Twitter, Joel Houston, songwriter and worship leader of Hillsong UNITED writes: "Thoughts and prayers with #Ferguson."
Similarly Christian group Rhett Walker Band urges, " Keep #ferguson in your prayers tonight. There is enough hell on both sides of the fence. Pray for Peace."
Others who have written on social media include:
Missy Elliott: "My Heart is still heavy after last night... But I come from a Praying family! & the Power of Prayer #Ferguson"
Reba McEntire: "My prayers go out to everyone in Ferguson, MO. #PrayForPeace."
Rodney Atkins: "Sending prayers out to all in #Ferguson tonight! Regardless of what the decision is there has been a lot of pain in that community."
Garth Brooks himself has canceled his talk show appearances due to the "civil unrest" in the United States following the Ferguson decision. "We landed in NY last night to the news of the civil unrest that was going on in our nation," Brooks said in a statement. The singer felt it was wrong to "spend the day promoting [his] stuff like nothing was wrong."