The situation in Ferguson, Missouri has gone from bad to worse following the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teen Saturday afternoon. Protests and riots persist, cops dressed in full riot gear are working to curb the violence, community leaders are encouraging peaceful protests, and there’s still no clear picture of what actually transpired Saturday when Michael Brown was shot and killed.
There appear to be conflicting reports from law enforcement and supposed eye witnesses regarding what actually happened. Law enforcement claim Brown assaulted the cop that took his life. Dorin Johnson who claims he was with Brown at the time he was shot has a very different story. Johnson says he and Brown were minding their own business when a cop rolled up, told them to get on the sidewalk, then proceeded to assault Brown and eventually kill him.
Johnson’s story seems to corroborate with another supposed eye witness, Piaget Crenshaw.
Even more curious is that Johnson claims he, by way of his attorney, has reached out to local law enforcement to provide his account of the story, and Ferguson police are refusing to interview him. Chris Hayes interviewed Johnson and has a great summation of the various accounts:
Brown’s family has retained Benjamin Crump. Crump represented Treyvon Martin’s family after Martin was fatally shot by George Zimmerman.
Ferguson police intended to release the name of the officer who killed Brown in press conference Tuesday, but have not yet done so in order to protect him. The officer is currently on administrative leave.
The Washington Post has a horrifying account of what it’s like on the ground where law enforcement is using tear gas to quell the riots:
And, taking to the streets again Monday night, locals were met with tear gas and rubber bullets.
Protests against police brutality turned contentious early Monday evening, leading to a standoff between several dozen local residents and dozens of officers in full riot gear just blocks from where Brown was gunned down.
In an attempt to disperse the crowd, officers made their way down West Florissant, a main street in Ferguson. When some residents, chanting “Don’t shoot, my hands are up,” refused to leave, officers began deploying tear gas.
“I’m under siege,” said Donald Harry, whose house sits at the corner of West Florissant and Nesbit, where residents gathered and yelled at police who approached.
The previous night, rioters shot out the back window of the black SUV that sits in Harry’s driveway. Tonight, however, it was the police he was worried about.
“I’ve got my family in here,” Harry said, pointing back to his home as a tear gas canister landed in his yard, ignited and sent him and this reporter ducking behind shrubbery.
As police moved up West Florissant, many residents said they were trapped. The neighborhood consists of a series of cul-de-sacs with one main road — West Florissant, now blocked by police — stretching between them.
“I was just trying to get to my sister’s house,” cried one 23-year-old, who lay sobbing on a lawn.
He said he was walking home when officers approached him and sprayed tear gas in his face and peppered him with rubber bullets.
“This is beyond Mike Brown; this is about all of us,” said Edward Crawford, 25.
“The looting was wrong, but so is this. This is excessive force,” he said as a tear gas canister landed just behind him.
Newsweek has a pretty incredible photo gallery.
As if this wasn’t enough, another shooting occurred last night when a rioter pulled gun on a cop:
The station quotes St. Louis County police spokesman Brian Schellman as saying officers responded to a report of four men wearing ski masks armed with shotguns, as well of reports of shots fired in the area.
When they arrived, he says, they found more than two dozen suspects fleeing on foot.
At one point, an officer confronted a suspect who, Schellman says, pulled a handgun on the officer.
“In fear for his life, the officer shot the subject,” Schellman continued. He was taken to a hospital in critical condition. The suspect’s handgun was recovered at the scene.
Separately, said Schellman, one person was injured in a drive-by shooting in Ferguson early Wednesday.
He said the incident involved several males in a black sedan, and a female was shot once in the head. He said she was taken to a hospital with injuries that did not appear life-threatening.
Schellman said the shooting occurred in the same vicinity as the protests over the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
At least Ferguson, Missouri has the support of Wiz Khalifa.
Feature image is a screen shot taken from the Chris Hayes interview posted here.
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