MISSOURI — Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III was re-elected on Tuesday. This was the first election since the controversial shooting of Michael Brown was misrepresented in the mainstream media, causing street riots and leading to the birth of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Preliminary election results posted on the county’s website show that Knowles defeated Councilwoman Ella Jones with 56 percent of the vote. Jones, who received 44 percent of the vote, aspired to become Ferguson’s first black female mayor. Knowles will serve his third three-year term.
“We all want the same thing,” Knowles told reporters on Tuesday night. “We’re all here for the same purpose, which is our community.”
The media is still focused on officials’ skin color, noting that since police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in self-defense on Aug. 9, 2014, the “mostly black community of 21,000 residents” has led the national debate on race relations.
Despite evidence to the contrary, many people still falsely believe Michael Brown had his hands in the air screaming, “Don’t shoot!” when he was shot.
According to a report in Reuters, “Knowles survived a recall attempt in 2015 [amid] stiff criticism over what the U.S. Justice Department called widespread discriminatory practices in the police department and the municipal court.”
The previous police chief and city manager both resigned and were replaced by black men.
Voter turnout was low on Tuesday. City Councilman Wesley Bell said, “You see a lot of voter apathy. We see that consistently in poor, African American communities. We had about 4,000 people come out to vote in a city of 21,000.”
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