Hello everyone! We are now on Day 8 of our annual Art April series of creativity for the year, as well as Day #5 of #the100dayproject! We decided to go back to an old project from two years ago titled, “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot”. This digital illustration creation was started during a time period of our recent history that brought attention to an already growing problem with police brutality in the United States of America.
2014 | Hands Up, Don’t Shoot | Digital Illustration | Adobe Photoshop | Keara Douglas
Shown above is a digital illustration of Ferguson, Missouri teen, Michael Brown, who was shot while unarmed on August 9 in 2014. In the illustration, I wanted to show things that either I came across on social media, television media outlets, or from photography shots during this time period in Ferguson. For Brown’s picture, I wanted to create something more positive. Often times, new media outlets will display victims as “criminals”, or blame them for what happened to them. Brown being in his cap and gown is a symbol that he was an educated young man that became a victim to a senseless crime. Brown had no criminal record, nor history of violent acts of any such while as a resident of the Ferguson community.
The background is a mixture of many things, mainly referenced from news outlets and random photographs. Things that were shown happening in the background of the main issue literally and figuratively. The image on the right shows where police officers and police dogs are brought into play. During this time period and due to how administrators at the time were handling cases like these, the public was very unsatisfied, angry, and frustrated. This led to many protests during 2014-2015 in the Ferguson, Missouri area and all around the United States. On the right hand side of the image are protestors and community leaders, parents, and residents. They were added to show how much the community came together to stand for justice in the case of Michael Brown who passed from being shot by a Ferguson police officer while unarmed.
On November 24, 2015, officials declined to indict officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed Michael Brown unjustifiably. Wilson ended up resigning from the police department on November 29 after increased protesting for justice. After reviewing the entire Ferguson Police Department, the Justice Department released their findings on March 3, 2015. In their findings they revealed that 88% of Ferguson Police Department’s cases during that time period, had been racially biased towards the black community. African Americans were being targeted more than any other race in that particular area. There was also evidence of a higher usage of unreasonable force towards African American suspects than any other race in Ferguson, Missouri as well, even for minor offenses. The police chief of Ferguson Police Department, Tom Jackson, the city manager, and the municipal judge all lost their jobs after the findings of the DOJ were released on July 22, 2015.
2017. Hands Up, Don’t Shoot (Digital Illustration). Retrieved from http://instagram.com/deluxds.
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Thank you to everyone for your support on our art journey! To follow our progress until July 12, 2017, follow us on instagram [@deluxds]!