They Can’t Kill Us All
Wesley Lowery

Longform Says

Thrust into the national spotlight after he was arrested at a McDonald’s in during the 2014 protests in Ferguson, Missouri, Lowery covers activism, state violence, and politics, with nuance, empathy, and doggedness. His They Can't Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America's Racial Justice Movement chronicles the 2 years he spent on the ground as American cities erupted into street protests. A Pulitzer Prize winner, he writes for the Washington Post and contributes political commentary to CNN. Hear him on episode #222.

Excerpt from They Can't Kill Us All

“Okay, let’s take him.”

Within seconds two officers grabbed me, each seizing an arm, and shoved me against the drinks machine that rested along the front wall of the McDonald’s where I had been eating and working on my report. As I released my clenched hands, my mobile phone and notebook fell to the tiled floor. Then came the sharp sting of the plastic cable tie as it was sealed, pinching tight at the corners of my wrists. I’d never been arrested before, and this wasn’t quite how I’d imagined it would go down.

Two days earlier I’d been sent to Ferguson, Missouri, to cover the aftermath of the police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black eighteen-year-old. The fatal gunshots, fired by a white police officer, Darren Wilson, were followed by bursts of anger, in the form of both protests and riots. Hundreds, and then thousands, of local residents had flooded the streets.

They demanded answers. They demanded justice.


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