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Current Event September 3, 2015

The History of Hands Up Don’t Shoot


The phrase “hands up, don’t shoot” has become a rallying cry and trending hashtag across the country. The expression, “to throw your hands up,” can indicate hopelessness or that something is too difficult to continue, which resonates with how helpless some feel after the many incidents of shootings of black men by police. “Hands up, don’t shoot” is used to protest police abuses and started after the death of Michael Brown, who was fatally shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri last August. Some officers say this chant makes teens more emboldened and non-compliant with the police, along with being a questionable retelling of the events of Michael Brown’s death. Listen to hear how this chant is seen in different ways to different people.

Race Civil RIghts Protest

Story Length: 4:49

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National Public Radio © 2015 National Public Radio, Inc. Used with the permission of NPR. All rights reserved.

AIR DATE: 08/08/2015


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