Things are way out of control in Ferguson, MO, where police shot and killed unarmed 18-year-old African American ?Michael Brown. Brown’s murder has galvanized the community, causing people to rise up in demand of justice for Brown.
In a video captured Sunday, a (white) police officer can be heard screaming disparaging sentences at protesters. “Bring it, all you f*cking animals! Bring it!” the officer said in video captured by CNN,
African Americans make up about 65% of the Ferguson population, yet account for about 93% of arrests after traffic stops, 92% of searches, and 80% of all traffic stops, according to a racial profiling report by the Missouri Attorney General. Of Ferguson’s 53 commissioned officers, only five are nonwhite. According to the LA Times, both the police chief and Mayor are white, as is the majority of the school board and most of the city council.
Given the uneven policing on the part of the police department, residents are understandably angry with officers–so angry that the police department has used the rioting and looting in the city as an excuse to refuse to disclose the name of the officer who shot Brown.
Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said Monday that the officer’s name would be made public by noon on Tuesday, but the department changed its mind about providing the public with the name of the man who mowed down an African American teen shortly before he was to begin college. “A lot of threats against the officer were made on Twitter, Facebook, all social media,” Officer Timothy Zoll said. “We are protecting the officer’s safety by not releasing the name.”
On Monday, the rioting had calmed down, and protests were generally peaceful, but police used tear gas and rubber bullets on protesters anyway, according to numerous media outlets. Protesters continue to call for the arrest and prosecution of the officer who murdered Brown–something that may not ever happen.
The hacktivist group Anonymous has promised to step in if justice is not found for the teen.