In Ferguson, Mo., police get to gun down unarmed teenage black kids with impunity. And if you don’t like it? You’d better shut the f*ck up, or they’ll blast you with tear gas.
Ray Downs from the RiverFront Times reports that on Monday, August 11, neighbors and their supporters rallied at the ravaged QuickTrip gas station on West Florissant Avenue to protest the Ferguson Police Department’s execution of Michael Brown — an unarmed teenager.
As evening approached, police clad in riot gear tramped towards the crowd, demanded that they disperse, and began blasting people with tear gas. Fox 2 adds police also fired rubber bullets.
This, in spite of the fact that the protesters nearly always keep their hands up — both to signal solidarity with Michael Brown and the boy’s family and to (unsuccessfully) ensure their own safety. Needless to say, most people cleared out of the area within an hour.
Unfortunately, four men refused to leave, and things got even more ugly. They kept their hands up while cursing at the police, and the cops threatened to tear gas them. Even though they had every right to express anger towards the police and made no threatening gestures, they finally headed out after neighbors begged them to leave.
At this point, Ferguson police should have called it a day and left. Instead, they kept marching down the street and spraying tear gas. This angered Rich West and his friends, who saw the whole thing from West’s backyard. With their hands up, they chanted, “You go home! You go home!”
A police officer ordered West to go home, but he couldn’t — he was already in his backyard!
He shouted, “This my property! This my property!” and police responded by blasting tear gas into his face.
West’s brother angrily declared:
“This is our home. This is our residence. Why do you think people say ‘f*ck the police?’ Because of that sh*t.”
West’s mom, Flora Busby came out and shouted:
“We in our backyard! Why you gotta shoot us?”
Police responded by lobbing another canister of tear gas over the fence, nearly hitting the house.
An outraged West angrily snapped:
“It’s pure ignorance. I pay property taxes here. I should be able to be in my backyard any time.”
West told RFT that he’s been constantly harassed and stopped by police since he turned 16. Busby added:
“They ain’t gotta be throwing tear gas in my backyard. This is my property. We were just standing back there, my son was standing back there, and I go to see about him and they threw it. I’m angry about that. They shouldn’t be doing that. And they didn’t need to kill the poor little boy. “
Police tear gas protesters.
Here’s the video from RFT with Ferguson police tear gassing people with their hands up, in their own back yards.
Featured photo: Video screen grab/Ray Downs via RFT.