Ferguson: Militarized police use force against protesters, arrest journalists
Police turned violent at protests in Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, where an unnamed police officer recently shot an unarmed black teen dead.
I counted 70+ SWAT officers. Guns trained on crowds. Insanity. pic.twitter.com/stev2G6v4b— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) August 13, 2014
Demonstrators in Ferguson, Missouri held protests today in the St. Louis suburb where a police officer recently shot an unarmed young black man, killing him and sparking outrage in this mostly black community.
Livestreams: one, two, three.
From the Los Angeles Times:
"Hands up! Don't shoot!" demonstrators chanted as they walked down West Florissant Avenue in a permitted march. Some young men at the back of the group raised their middle fingers as they passed a Ferguson Police Department officer, shouting profanities at him. About 30 demonstrators, who were almost all black, sat down in the middle of an intersection near a line of about a dozen riot police, who were all white.
Huffington Post reporter Ryan J. Reilly and Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery were arrested. They were among reporters live-tweeting events in Ferguson this afternoon, and ducked into a McDonalds to recharge their smartphones and other devices. Subsequent tweets indicated they were taken into police custody. Lowery confirms: "Was arrested. Also Ryan Reilly of Huff Po. Assaulted and arrested. Officers decided we weren't leaving McDonalds quickly enough, shouldn't have been taping them." Both journalists have been released, possibly thanks to a phone call from Matt Pearce of the LA Times to the Ferguson police chief, asking why the men were being held.
"Ferguson chief tells me Lowery and Reilly's arresters were 'probably somebody who didn't know better," tweeted Pearce. Here is video of the arrest.
In a matter of seconds police set off tear gas declares this is no longer a peaceful protest pic.twitter.com/sCuy3PXHCg— Conetta (@BmoreConetta) August 14, 2014
Gas cans and crackers being lobbed into people's front gardens pic.twitter.com/tvEkVZoGtE— Jon Swaine (@jonswaine) August 14, 2014
This was unnerving. pic.twitter.com/PzVkq8vUj6— Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) August 13, 2014
Tried to get closer to confirm identities of reporters being arrested. Was marched at by cops in riot gear and threatened with arrest— Jon Swaine (@jonswaine) August 14, 2014
"Is that a tank?!?" As older black woman asks as cops move in #Ferguson— Elon James White (@elonjames) August 13, 2014
Chants of "Hands up, Don't Shoot!" At march and rally not far from scene of Michael Brown killing. pic.twitter.com/zi9aC39ys6— Trymaine Lee (@trymainelee) August 13, 2014
Police loudspeaker: "Your right to assembly is not being denied."— Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) August 13, 2014
"Your right to demonstrate is not being denied." Says dude in a Tank with snipers. #Ferguson— Elon James White (@elonjames) August 13, 2014
Police just arrested a man on crutches. Another woman.— Trymaine Lee (@trymainelee) August 13, 2014
This isn't a war yet police are armed a and approaching like we're in Iraq. #Ferguson— Elon James White (@elonjames) August 13, 2014
Police demanding over bull horn that people disperse immediately pic.twitter.com/NSOwyc2jaI— Trymaine Lee (@trymainelee) August 13, 2014
"This is not open for discussion." -- cop on loudspeaker, telling crowd to leave the area pic.twitter.com/KYaNaFbvzw— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) August 13, 2014
Right now in Ferguson https://t.co/SHJoIPv4wv— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) August 13, 2014
Every time I see a 21st-century SWAT team, I think: This is what it looks like when you want perfect control.— Matt Pearce (@mattdpearce) August 13, 2014
Standing in the street. Arms up. pic.twitter.com/CiacFTbFP1— FOX2now (@FOX2now) August 13, 2014
Children chat: "Justice for Mike Brown!" https://t.co/HejVixnnMk— Antonio French (@AntonioFrench) August 13, 2014
These women offer a place where Ferguson youth could come & scream & cry & be held & heard in love. Mighty work. pic.twitter.com/WrVSbR6Ui0— dream hampton (@dreamhampton) August 13, 2014
Sen. Chappelle-Nadal got teargassed with constituents Monday night, says police response was so extreme she worried "we were going to die."— Matt Pearce (@mattdpearce) August 13, 2014
Here is gas fired moments ago: pic.twitter.com/y5CJlEHcJw— Jon Swaine (@jonswaine) August 14, 2014
FBI Director James Comey told reporters that “viral video effect” (which is his latest term for what used to be called the “Ferguson effect”) is responsible for increased violent crime in some US cities, in that police are scared to do their jobs because they might end up on Youtube in an unflattering video.
Ferguson’s cops aren’t just notorious for being an invading domestic military force: long before that, they were notorious for “failure to comply” arrests, where (mostly brown) people who were minding their own businesses were arrested for refusing to show ID, move along, or following other orders from uniformed officers.
St. Louis Fire Department captain Garon Mosby calls the fires “arson,” but despite the shocking string of racist attacks, major media have hardly breathed a word about the fires.
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