Armed members of the police force reportedly raided a church in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 20. The church is the same one where civil rights activist Rev Al Sharpton spoke on August 16.
The Greater St. Mark Family Church provides shelter and first aid to demonstrators in Ferguson, who come to protest the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
During the raid, Ferguson police confiscated all the Maalox, a perfectly legal over-the-counter anti-acid used to help ease the pain and lessen the side effects of tear gas.
One of the community leaders present during the raid, Phillip Agnew, described the events in an interview with Rev. Dr. Pamela Lightsey.
Agnew said armed police entered the church where community members, church members and children were peacefully gathered. The only thing they appeared to have seized during the raid were the first aid supplies.
When asked what justification the police gave for taking Maalox, Agnew replied:
“This is a war.”
No doubt police are treating the citizens of Ferguson as if they were the enemy. Only in third world war zones do armed forces attack houses of worship and raid medical supplies.
Even under the rules of the Geneva Convention, churches and places of worship can not be assaulted. Also, the occupying forces are required to assure adequate medical supplies for the population, and are also required to provide humanitarian relief to the injured.
Ferguson police sent a message.
Agnew went on to say that he believes that the raid was conducted as a way for police to send a message:
“This is to say ‘you are not safe anywhere. In the place you thought you could come, where you have a hedge around you, we’re gonna run all in up there’.”