Ferguson’s police chief has staunchly refused to identify the cop – by name or by race – that pulled the trigger and gunned down 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, near St. Louis, last weekend. Some in the small community, which is 70 percent black, have continued peaceful protests, but those rallies have been overshadowed by violent acts of looting, aggression and property destruction, prompting one white cop, as seen in the video above, to call blacks “fu***ng animals.”
Reuters news service reports via MSN News: “The police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager last weekend in Ferguson, Missouri, was injured in the incident that has sparked racially charged protests, the city's police chief said on Wednesday… Police have declined to release the name of the officer involved in the incident, citing concerns for his safety, a decision that has been criticized by demonstrators who have asked for more transparency. The officer has been placed on administrative leave.”
Police Chief Thomas Jackson commented on the racially charged protests and the struggle that officers are having with maintaining peace – this despite calls by both Michael Brown’s father and President Obama for peaceful remonstration. Jackson also confirmed that hackers attempted to burrow into the police database to reveal the name of the officer, but were unsuccessful.
“Unfortunately, an undertow (of racial unrest) has bubbled to the surface,” Jackson said.
Race relations is the top priority right now.”
Of the 21,000 Ferguson residents, over two-thirds are black. The same percentages are not seen however on the police force. Fifty three cops are on the payroll; three are black.
While Brown’s shooter remains nameless (and raceless), the USA Today on Aug. 12 said that “Phillip Walker [a witness to the incident] said he was on the porch of an apartment complex overlooking the scene when he heard a shot and saw a white officer with Brown on the street.”
Brown was unarmed, and the story, as one might expect, took on an instantaneous racial overtone. African Americans within the St. Louis suburb where Brown died took to the streets, and a candlelight vigil held Sunday night turned into an out-of-control evening of aggressive looting, burning, smashing storefronts and windows of parked cars; goods were carried out of broken stores by the armful. The violence has continued through midweek.
Multiple YouTube videos captured mostly black males, many of whom had handkerchiefs or other articles of clothing covering their faces, smashing and grabbing items from destroyed storefronts. Police were forced to use tear gas rounds in order to quell the crowd.
Details as to Brown’s death are yet unclear. Brown was with another man, identified as 22-year-old Dorian Johnson, who spoke about watching Brown getting shot. A scuffle occurred inside of the police patrol car; an officer was reportedly shoved into the car and a struggle for the officer’s sidearm ensued. One round was fired in the car. The altercation then spilled out into the street, and Brown was thereafter shot.
Chief Jackson has urged demonstrators to carry on their activity during daylight hours. He was careful not to call his plea a curfew however, which would mean a police-enforced clampdown.
Says the Reuters reports:
A witness who was walking with Brown at the time has said in media interviews that Brown put his hands in the air and was not struggling with the officer. He said the officer fired multiple times into Brown's head and chest.
The witness, Dorian Johnson, was expected to meet on Wednesday with prosecutors and investigators, local media reported.