Law enforcement in Ferguson, Missouri has been disrespectful of protesters, to say the least — but it seems that they have decided it’s time to move past calling protesters n*ggers, threatening members of the media, shooting children with tear gas, and suggesting that demonstrators should be put down “like dogs,” and do something completely reprehensible.
Speaking of dogs, several sources have confirmed that an officer working the protests desecrated a Michael Brown memorial by allowing his K-9 companion to urinate on the piece before police ran it over, decimating it.
On August 9, in the spot where Brown’s body had been allowed to remain for four hours, protesters built a makeshift memorial for the unarmed teenager gunned down in the street by Officer Darren Wilson. Flowers and candles were scattered over the bloodstains on the pavement.
After police arrived, several officers along with their trusty dogs approached demonstrators. Mother Jones reports that three state and local officials confirmed that one officer’s contribution to the memorial, where Brown’s mother laid flowers, was a large amount of ammonia and uric acid — and then devastation.
The incident was related to me separately by three state and local officials who worked with the community in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. One confirmed that he interviewed an eyewitness, a young woman, and pressed her on what exactly she saw. “She said that the officer just let the dog pee on it,” that official told me. “She was very distraught about it.” The identity of the officer who handled the dog and the agency he was with remain unclear.
Soon after, police blocked access to the street and drove over the candle and flower memorial. “That made people in the crowd mad,” said Missouri State Rep Sharon Pace, “and it made me mad.” Some residents began attempting to block police vehicles from entering the area..
The day brought other indignities for Brown’s family, and the community. Missouri state Rep. Sharon Pace, whose district includes the neighborhood where the shooting occurred, told me she went to the scene that afternoon to comfort the parents, who were blocked by police from approaching their son’s body. Pace purchased some tea lights for the family, and around 7 p.m. she joined Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, and others as they placed the candles and sprinkled flowers on the ground where Brown had died. “They spelled out his initials with rose petals over the bloodstains,” Pace recalled.
By then, police had prohibited all vehicles from entering Canfield Drive except for their own. Soon the candles and flowers had been smashed, after police drove over them.
No video has yet emerged to confirm the claims, but given the wanton lack of regard for the humanity of demonstrators it makes sense that police handling the protests would have absolutely no regard for a memorial to the fallen teenager, given the bigoted viewpoints openly expressed by police involved in exacerbating the situation.
A spokesperson for the St. Louis County Police told me that the department was unaware of these incidents; he added that complaints should be submitted to the department’s Bureau of Professional Standards.
Given what we have seen in Ferguson, the important question would be: “DO police in the area even have professional standards?”
Officer Darren Wilson got his start in 2009 in the nearby town of Jennings, where the police were so corrupt and overtly racist that the entire police department was disbanded in 2011. Wilson swiftly applied and was hired in Ferguson — which seems to be a common theme for disgraced officers from other precincts.
Another officer, Eddie Boyd III, resigned from nearby St. Louis County amid multiple allegations that he physically abused children. There was only enough evidence to support one of the complaints — that he struck a 12-year-old girl in the head with his pistol — but that incident led to his demotion (Internal Affairs recommended termination). Shortly after, when it was alleged that he did the same to a teen boy, Boyd resigned. Soon, he proudly donned a Ferguson uniform.
Another Ferguson officer, Justin Cosma, has been accused of choking and hog-tying a young boy during his time with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department. That case is still pending.
Recently, it was revealed that Ferguson police have joined the Ku Klux Klan and other proud white people in raising “reward” money for Darren Wilson. According to the Klan, who began the initial fundraising efforts, Wilson was to be commended for ridding the world of another “typical low-IQ Negro.”