But as police began pummeling activists with their batons, it was Bush’s training as a registered nurse that sprang to the forefront. Seeing one of her comrades taking a beating from an officer, she jumped into the scrum to pull him out and provide emergency medical treatment.
Before she could reach him, an officer sprayed tear gas directly in her face and at her upper body. Cleansing fluids that normally relieve the burning effect from pepper spray were useless, forcing her to endure stinging pain for 24 hours afterward.
(The Florissant Police Department referred HuffPost to publicstatements in which the law enforcement body maintained that it ordered the crowd, which had approaching the police headquarters, to disperse. It only began forcibly dispersing the crowd once protesters refused to leave and began damaging police property.)
For most people, the experience would have been harrowing. For Bush, it was just another day on the congressional campaign trail. A month later, she would shock the country with an upset primary election win, unseating Rep. William Lacy Clay, the Democrat who has represented Missouri’s 1st Congressional District since 2001.
Bush won her race for an overwhelmingly Democratic St. Louis-area seat and is all but assured of victory in the general election. She is set to become the first Black Lives Matter activist forged in the fires of Ferguson to grace the marble halls of the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Bush’s ascent comes as the country, in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, undergoes a long-overdue reckoning on policing and racial justice. The work of Ferguson movement veterans such as Bush laid the foundation of the broader racial justice movement.
Missouri state Rep. Rasheen Aldridge (D), a young Ferguson activist who...