More than marches, protests mark Michael Brown shooting anniversary

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FERGUSON, MO (KPLR) - There were more than marches and concerts commemorating the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson Saturday.

Throughout much of Ferguson, one year later, there were signs of progress.

No one said all of the lessons of a year ago had firmly taken hold, but the in the 2nd week of August 2015, it was clear Ferguson was a different place.

The only marching new Ferguson City Council member, Wesley Bell, did Saturday was for Saturday’s job fair at the Ferguson Community Center.  He was dropping newsletters door-to-door.

Employers from the Missouri Department of Mental Health, the Department of Natural Resources, home health care services and notably the Missouri Highway Patrol, among others, were all there hiring.

“What I’m starting to see is that the community and law enforcement are starting to listen to each other more,” Bell said.  “That’s part of what community policing is about is building that trust, so that if there is a situation, we’ll give you the benefit of the doubt if we know you.”

“This is a monumental part of it, secondary to education.  Being able to financially support yourself and others in your community, we’re definitely taking a step in the right direction for us to becoming unified,” said job seeker, Duane Ford.

The Ferguson Farmer’s Market across town was hopping again.

It was hard to imagine the unrest of a year ago temporarily shut it down.

A lot had changed indeed.

“I hadn’t thought about running for city council to be perfectly honest,” Bell said.  “There was a series of things that pushed me in that direction.  I felt a need for people to get involved.  You can either put up or shut up.”

“We have a long way to go, a very long way to go.  But I’m appreciative of where we’ve gotten to thus far,” Ford said.

A long way to go but people seemed to have a better idea of the view from each other’s shoes.

They wondered what if it had been like that on August 9th, 2014.

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