"In August 2014, a Ferguson, Missouri, policeman shot and killed an unarmed black teenager. Michael Brown’s death and the resulting protests and racial tension brought considerable attention to that town. Observers who had not been looking closely at our evolving demographic patterns were surprised to see ghetto conditions we had come to associate with inner cities now duplicated in a formerly white suburban community: racially segregated neighborhoods with high poverty and unemployment, poor student achievement in overwhelmingly black schools, oppressive policing, abandoned homes, and community powerlessness."
This is a detailed and balanced account of how Ferguson became what it is today. Public policies, real estate industry practices, and other institutional factors contributed to the situation. My colleague Dennis Judd's article about segregative practices is cited.