This week an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, was shot multiple times by police officers in the suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Just 15 miles north of St. Louis, Ferguson residents have been seen rioting, looting, and protesting after the shooting. Ferguson has a population of 21,203: 67.4% Blacks, 29.3% Whites. Blacks account for 93% of arrests. Of the 53 police officers of the Ferguson Police Department, three are black. The FBI and Justice Department have launched an investigation.
In 2012, Ferguson was recognized as a “Playful City, USA” for its efforts to increase play opportunities for children. The city of Ferguson hosts Sunday Parkways, a free community play street event in neighborhoods on Sunday afternoons. Streets are closed to cars in order to allow residents of all ages and abilities to play in the streets.