A Mother's Pain
The 2014 fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., has changed the conversation about race in St. Louis. In the three years since protesters first marched along West Florissant Avenue, the Post-Dispatch has published thousands of related stories and photographs. Judges and politicians have been ousted. Laws have changed. The Ferguson Police Department now operates under a federal consent decree.
However, for many people living in Ferguson and St. Louis, political change is overshadowed by the daily struggle with poverty and violence. It was a theme I encountered again and again this past year.
To show the traumatic toll of this toxic mix of poverty and violence, I spent more than a year documenting several families as they deal with a toxic mix of poverty and violence.
Charisse Young weeps at her son's casket. "I know what you would say, 'Stop crying Mama, stop crying.' I can't stop crying, Dominique, because it hurts so bad, son. It hurts so bad, Dominique," she said during his wake on Aug. 14, 2015. The family had gathered on the front porch of their St. Louis home to send off a college-bound relative when gunmen drove up and opened fire on them. Young was hit. So was her niece, a nephew and a family friend. Her story is shared by many St. Louis families. Nearly 200 people were killed in 2015 in the St. Louis area and 240 people were killed during 2016. .