Earlier today, we reported that Ferguson Police Chief named the officer who shot and killed Mike Brown, Darren Wilson. In addition to this important update, there are few other things going on of which you should be made aware. Here are a few updates regarding the Mike Brown case and the situation in Ferguson.
But before you get the details a Facebook video showing the aftermath of Michael’s murder, where officers allowed him to lie in the street uncovered for minutes, his mother and father screaming and asking why the ambulance hadn’t been called. It’s graphic and heartbreaking. Watch with caution.
This morning the Ferguson police department released still images from a surveillance video of Mike Brown in the Quik Trip. In the images we see a man, who Ferguson police claim is Brown, strong-arming the store owner. He allegedly stole a pack of cigarillos. Even if this was indeed the case, the penalty for stealing cigarillos that cost less than a dollar, and even putting their hands on a store clerk is less than being gunned down in the street. But later in the afternoon a video emerged which is far less violent that what the still images depict.
A copy of the police report has been released and obtained by citizens. People are questioning the authenticity of it, considering the report seems to have been filed at 11:51 am, before Brown was shot and killed by Wilson. Even if the store clerk called the police and they filed a report, they wouldn’t have known Brown’s name to include it in the report.
On Wednesday, night you may have seen the city of Ferguson resembling a war zone. There were military tanks, tear gas, rubber bullets and even a few arrests of journalists and even Alderman of the 21st Ward in St. Louis, Antonio French, who had been covering the protests on his Vine account. Surely, you’ve seen the footage, but you can watch some video of the protest on Wednesday night.
Things had gotten so bad in Ferguson, people in Palestine, were tweeting and speaking in solidarity for the people in Ferguson saying they know what it means to be profiled and targeted for their ethnicity. They even offered some tips. Check out a few of them below.
And in case you didn’t know, here are some numbers that accurately depict the racial tension between the Ferguson police and it’s community, which is 60 percent Black.
According to The Missouri Attorney General, the US Census and other sources in Ferguson, remember, 60 percent Black, has a police chief and mayor are White. Only one city council member is Black and only one school board member is Black.
Of Ferguson’s 53 police officers, only 3 are Black.
After President Obama released a statement on the Mike Brown shooting, he tapped Attorney General Eric Holder to launch a federal investigation, separate from the one the St. Louis Department is currently pursuing.
This is a portion of the statement Holder released via the Department of Justice yesterday after meeting with President Obama.
“For one thing, while the vast majority of protests have been peaceful, acts of violence by members of the public cannot be condoned. Looting and willful efforts to antagonize law enforcement officers who are genuinely trying to protect the public do nothing to remember the young man who has died. Such conduct is unacceptable and must be unequivocally condemned.
“By the same token, the law enforcement response to these demonstrations must seek to reduce tensions, not heighten them. Those who peacefully gather to express sympathy for the family of Michael Brown must have their rights respected at all times. And journalists must not be harassed or prevented from covering a story that needs to be told.
“At a time when we must seek to rebuild trust between law enforcement and the local community, I am deeply concerned that the deployment of military equipment and vehicles sends a conflicting message. At my direction, Department officials have conveyed these concerns to local authorities. Also at my direction, the Department is offering – through our COPS office and Office of Justice Programs – technical assistance to local authorities in order to help conduct crowd control and maintain public safety without relying on unnecessarily extreme displays of force. The local authorities in Missouri have accepted this offer of assistance as of this afternoon.
“Department officials from the Community Relations Service are also on the ground in Missouri to help convene law enforcement officials and civic and faith leaders to plot out steps to reduce tensions in the community. The latest such meeting was convened in Ferguson as recently as this morning. Over time, these conversations should consider the role that increased diversity in law enforcement can play in helping to build trust within communities.
“All the while, the federal civil rights investigation into the shooting incident itself continues, in parallel with the local investigation into state law violations. Our investigators from the Civil Rights Division and U.S. attorney’s office in Missouri have already conducted interviews with eyewitnesses on the scene at the time of the shooting incident on Saturday. Our review will take time to conduct, but it will be thorough and fair.”
It would seem that it was the initiatives put forth by Holder that calmed the protest scene in Ferguson Thursday evening.
As we mentioned the Ferguson Police Department released surveillance video of Mike Brown in the Quik trip. Brown’s family was not at all happy about that, saying that it seemed like a ploy from the police department to criminalize their son without releasing any details about the man who actual shot and killed Brown, certainly the more egregious crime.
“Michael Brown’s family is beyond outraged at the devious way the police chief has chosen to disseminate piecemeal information in a manner intended to assassinate the character of their son, following such a brutal assassination of his person in broad daylight.
There is nothing based on the facts that have been placed before us that can justify the execution style murder of their child by this police officer as he held his hands up, which is the universal sign of surrender.
The prolonged release of the officer’s name and then the subsequent alleged information regarding a robbery is the reason why the family and the local community have such distrust for the local law enforcement agencies.
It is no way transparent to release the still photographs alleged to be Michael Brown and refuse to release the photographs of the officer that executed him.
The police strategy of attempting to blame the victim will not divert our attention, from being focused on the autopsy, ballistics report and the trajectory of the bullets that caused Michael’s death and will demonstrate to the world this brutal execution of an unarmed teenager.”
Benjamin L Crump, Esq.
Anthony D. Gray, Esq.
Daryl D. Parks, Esq.
Earlier this week, Brown’s friend, Dorian Johnson, who was with Brown during the convenient store altercation and even on the street when Wilson approached the two in the street, spoke to the media about what he saw when Brown was shot. Listen to this video of Johnson speaking about Brown’s last moments.
Today, at 3 pm, the Ferguson police chief hosted a press conference where he spoke to several media officials. During the conference, he said the police don’t have any more information, aside from what has already been released. But there were some key things he said during the conference that are leaving many feeling more angry than they did initially. Police chief Thomas Jackson said officer Wilson”was not aware that Brown was a suspect in a robbery” when he stopped him on the street that afternoon. He said Wilson approached Brown and Johnson because they were “blocking traffic.” Jackson reiterated that the robbery and the altercation were not related. Then when one person asked why the police department released the surveillance video because the media asked for it. But MSNBC correspondent, Trymaine Lee said that media never even knew that there was an alleged robbery so how would they know to ask for a video. You can watch highlights from Jackson’s press conference in the video above.
Rapper J Cole decided to release a song to commemorate Brown’s death. And when he released it, he said, “I’m tired of being desensitized to the nuder of black men. I don’t give a f*ck if it’s by police or peers. This sh*t is not normal.”
It’s called “Be Free.”
Some of the lyrics read: “All we wanna do is break the chains off/All we wanna do is be free”
The song samples a news report from the police shooting. Take a listen to it here.