As one how lives in St. Louis only a few miles from the suburb of Ferguson, it's interesting to hear what the posters here have to say. All I can really tell you is that it's a big mess. There are and have been for many years issues with racism in St. Louis. We like to pretend that we're not a southern city, but our attitudes are very southern. Additionally, we have a failing and underfunded educational system, high drop-out rates, few available jobs, and generations of poor whites and blacks who rely on the welfare safety net because they don't have role models withing their families to show them how to get up and go to work every morning. This all leads to anger, resentment, and a feeling of hopelessness in the population of the poorer, inner-ring suburbs like Ferguson.
On top of all of this, the Ferguson police, St. Louis County (of which St. Louis City is not a part) government and our Governor Jay Nixon have made a completely botched almost every aspect of handling the shooting incident and the subsequent protests and outbreaks of violence.
Unfortunately, there does not seem to be any leadership emerging from the protestors to organize their actions or to help to quell the violent minority who seem hell-bent on causing trouble and getting more people killed.
Personally, my heart is broken over what is going on in my city. I pray that this will act as a catalyst for action and that we will emerge better as a region; that no more property or lives will be lost to the nightly violence.