"I’m from St. Louis, and am actually surprised at the representation of the situation locally vs. nationally. For some reason the national reaction has been largely one-sided as depicting cops as being out of control militants; locally I think they’re showing more of the story from both sides.
Ferguson is a smaller city (~20,000) and much of the rioting that has been happening has been a result of sketchy people from the city of St. Louis taking advantage of the situation there.
The police have repeatedly told individuals to protest during the day and stay indoors at night, for everyone’s safety. The past few nights, tear gas has been used to disband the crowd as a result of cops getting fired at, having rocks thrown at them, or molotov cocktails being tossed. Cops in and around Ferguson are now working 12-hour days with no days off. Many are receiving death threats, are spit on and cursed by protestors, and I can understand why they’re uptight.
On the other hand, the people of Ferguson have a right to be angry and many have been peacefully protesting with no problems whatsoever. They’ve been walking around with their hands up, chanting “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot.” From the footage I’ve seen, the cops have rarely been pointing weapons at people (especially in the daytime) except to clear out certain areas. I imagine that’s what’s going on here.
Sadly, a small group of idiots has made the entire situation into a shitstorm with looting and violence, causing even more tension between police and citizens. The other night police responded to four masked men with shotguns in the street (one of whom was shot by police after pointing his weapon at them) and a woman was shot in a drive-by shooting (which never happens in Ferguson).
It’s disheartening and infuriating to see the situation spiral out of control like this. The media is consistently turning it into a racial issue when it isn’t. A recent twitter movement revealed a number of individuals claiming that individuals should “attack rich white neighborhoods” rather than attack their own city, which has resulted in fighting and the lockdown of stores and malls in surrounding areas. The New Black Panthers recently sent a letter to the FBI promising violence, which has only added fuel to the fire.
This entire situation has been a distraction from what’s important. An individual was shot by a police officer - was the officer in the wrong, or was he justified based on the evidence? We don’t know and we need to let the FBI and Justice Department determine it as unbiasedly as possible. Regardless of what happens it’s so far been a case of he-said-she-said with racial tension mounting.”
"Saturday, August 9, 2014
18-year-old Michael Brown is shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer in a predominately black neighborhood.
Dorian Johnson, a friend who was with Michael at the time, claims the two were walking in the street when the officer drove up beside them asking them to get on the sidewalk. They said they were almost home at which point the officer tried to open his door to get out but the car door hit the two of them walking and wouldn’t open. As a result, the officer grabbed Michael by the neck at which point a shot was fired inside the officer’s vehicle. Both Brown and Johnson ran. Johnson claims Brown turned to the officer to tell him he was unarmed with his hands up at which point the officer fired several shots at Brown without saying, “freeze,” “stop,” etc.
According to the police, Michael Brown was walking with a friend when the officer tried to get out of his car. Brown then allegedly pushed the officer back into the car, went into the car, and then a fight broke out over the policeman’s weapon. The shot was fired inside the car, at which point Michael fled the scene and the officer shot him. The officer was treated for a facial injury at the hospital shortly afterwards.
Crowds begin to gather around police headquarters.
Sunday, August 10, 2014
STL County Police Chief holds a press conference regarding the incident.
The family plans to hold a peaceful vigil for their son. They hire Benjamin Crump, the lawyer who represented the family of Trayvon Martin, to represent them.
Reverend Al Sharpton announces he will come to Ferguson to demand justice.
An internet hacking group, named “Anonymous” hack the STL police to find any records or emails suggesting wrong-doing. They plan to find and release the identity of the officer.
Towards the evening, the peaceful vigil turned violent.
The local QuikTrip was looted and burned to the ground.
By 11:00pm, they had broken into a Wal-Mart, an Autozone store, Toys’R’Us, T-Mobile, and about 10 other convenience stores. Millions of dollars in damages and stolen goods.
Approximately 32 people were arrested during the riot, many of whom were from inner-city STL with previous records.
Monday, August 11, 2014
A number of school districts cancel the first day of school for fear of children’s safety.
Ferguson police and city leaders continue to receive death threats.
Hundreds gather outside of the Ferguson police department demanding the officer be identified and tried in court for murder.
The FBI announces it will conduct a parallel investigation into the matter.
The police announce they will release the name of the officer by Tuesday afternoon.
The parents of Michael Brown hold a press conference asking for an end to the violence out of respect for their son and demand justice.
The NAACP organizes a meeting and prayer service.
Towards the evening, unrest grows. Crowds gather at the QT that was destroyed. Protestors shout and throw rocks at police, at which point police use rubber bullets and tear gas to disband the protestors.
A Shoe Carnival in Ferguson is broken into and looted.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Peaceful protestors march in Clayton to demand an impartial investigation and that charges be filed.
Police decide not to release the name of the officer for fear of danger to him or his family. By this point, people on Twitter had misidentified the officer. The misidentified officer and his family received multiple death threats and as a result left the city.
The FAA orders a no-fly zone over Ferguson as a precaution after shots were fired at a police helicopter on Sunday.
Protests continue Tuesday night into early Wednesday, and authorities report several new arrests. Officers respond to a report of four men wearing ski masks armed with shotguns a block or two east of Ferguson, as well as reports of shots fired in the area. Officers found more than two dozen suspects fleeing on foot when they arrived. An officer shot and critically wounded a suspect who pulled a handgun. A woman is shot in an apparent drive-by shooting on Chambers Road during protests.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Ferguson-Florissant School District officials make the decision to cancel school Thursday and Friday in response to concerns about the continuing unrest in the community. The first day of school is planned for Monday.
The Justice Department opened a federal civil rights investigation related to the Ferguson shooting.
According to St. Louis County Prosecutor’s office, Michael Brown had no criminal background.
Some reporters are arrested for failing to leave when asked by police multiple times.
Protests continue in the evening. Molotov cocktails are thrown at police, who respond with tear gas and rubber bullets. Many people are arrested for failing to clear the area when asked.”