Missouri has been in a state of turmoil since the shooting of unarmed, college-bound teenager Michael Brown by an unnamed officer last Saturday. Michael Brown’s friend Dorian Johnson, who was with him when the shooting took place, gave his eyewitness account to MSNBC:
“I saw the barrel of the gun pointed at my friend. Then I saw the fire come out of the barrel. I could see so vividly what was going on because I was so close.”
He went even further into detail about the altercation that lead to Brown’s death:
“The officer demanded that the two “get the f—k on the sidewalk,” Johnson says. “His exact words were get the f—k on the sidewalk.” After telling the officer that they were almost at their destination, Johnson’s house, the two continued walking. But as they did, Johnson says the officer slammed his brakes and threw his truck in reverse, nearly hitting them. Now, in line with the officer’s driver’s side door, they could see the officer’s face. They heard him say something to the effect of, “what’d you say?” At the same time, Johnson says the officer attempted to thrust his door open but the door slammed into Brown and bounced closed. Johnson says the officer, with his left hand, grabbed Brown by the neck.
On his friend’s last moments before being slain:
“Brown made it past the third car. Then, “blam!” the officer took his second shot, striking Brown in the back. At that point, Johnson says Brown stopped, turned with his hands up and said “I don’t have a gun, stop shooting!” By that point, Johnson says the officer and Brown were face-to-face. The officer then fired several more shots. Johnson described watching Brown go from standing with his hands up to crumbling to the ground and curling into a fetal position.”
Dorian Johnson’s account is even more troubling because he says he offered to speak with the police, but was declined. Clearly, the cops do not want to know a first-hand account of what happened. That is super suspect.
According to NBC News Channel 5 in St. Louis, over 200 police officers showed up to Ferguson on Monday to maintain the crowd of protestors. However, the cops arrived with riot gear, including rubber bullets and tear gas to potentially subdue the crowd if things went awry. The hypothetical threat quickly became reality, as cops started firing off the tear gas and bullets into the crowd of protestors.
A protestor named Samantha had much to say about the ill-willed cops, telling the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
“I’m down here at the protest and they start throwing tear gas and shooting rubber bullets at all the protestors, telling us to go home, and we live here. They need to go home. We live here. We’re looking for justice. Where’s the justice for this boy’s death?”
Protestors aren’t the only ones looking to take action because of the event, as the hacktivist organization Anonymous issued a warning to the cops of Ferguson:
“To the Ferguson Police Department and any other jurisdictions who are deployed to the protests: we are watching you very closely. If you abuse, harass – or harm in any way the protesters in Ferguson we will take every web based asset of your departments and governments off line. That is not a threat, it is a promise.”
Bystanders and protestors captured footage of the tear gas being launched in Ferguson.
The officer responsible for shooting Michael Brown is likely preparing himself for public scrutiny, as Ferguson’s police chief Thomas Jackson let CNN know that the officer’s name will be released Tuesday. The craziest shit is that the “unidentified” officer is being vetted according to news outlets:
Chief says legally there r reasons to not release name and safety is one of those reasons. Says county pd and prosecutor agree w/ decision.
— Ryan Dean (@RyanDeanKSDK) August 12, 2014
chief says they want to make sure proper security is in place for officer and his family before name is released. #Ferguson
— Ryan Dean (@RyanDeanKSDK) August 12, 2014
Reverend Al Sharpton addressed the federal investigation into Michael Brown’s death today, amongst other issues like the protesting/rioting/looting, saying:
“Don’t be a traitor to Michael Brown. Don’t be so angry that you distort the image of the man his parents said he was… a true gentle giant. I need all of us to come together and do this right… the right way. So we can get things done. No violence, man.”
Peace to the family of Michael Brown.
Update: According to the NY Times, the Ferguson Police decided not to release the name of the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, citing a “safety risk” to the officer and the family of the officer. This prompted Anonymous to go after the St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar, as well as find the officer responsible for Brown’s death:
— #anti-sec (@sec_anti) August 12, 2014
Again, we're working with a key source at this very moment to confirm the name of the officer who shot Mike Brown. We must be certain first.
— Operation Ferguson (@OpFerguson) August 12, 2014