The shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, a district of St. Louis County in Missouri, and the spate of civil unrest that followed – bringing the ongoing state violence inflicted on African-Americans to broad public light – could set a precedent for the future of American society, according to a senior Iraq War veteran and Pentagon defense analyst.

Terron Sims, an African-American activist who focuses on local and national Democratic politics and previously served five years in the United States Army, said during an interview last month that without a fundamental cultural and institutional change in American policing across the country, the United States could see more Ferguson-type events in the near future.

Sims was a company commander during the 2003 Iraq War whose job was to engage with the local civilian population in Baghdad on behalf of the US military. He was the main senior US Army officer liaising between the Coalition Provisional Authority, the UN, and Baghdad’s Tisa Nissan district, where he facilitated and mentored the local government – without having to resort to force. He later served as a senior operations manager and analyst tasking units for worldwide Army counter-terrorism operations and creating the Pentagon’s installation budget systems. [Read more]

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