Tuesday, August 19, 2014
National Guard Deployed to St Louis Suburb After Week of Protests and Looting
After criticizing the presence of 'militarized' police in the St Louis suburb of Ferguson, MO last week, Missouri governor Jay Nixon ordered the National Guard into the city to restore order on Sunday night.
The unrest started last weekend when a Ferguson police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager named Mike Brown. Although some witnesses gave conflicting accounts that claimed Brown was fleeing or surrendering when he was shot, the police claim that there was an altercation before the shooting where Brown tried to take the officer's service weapon.
After the shooting, a number of vigils and protests in Ferguson where demonstrators called for the officer to be charged with homicide took place [there are some unconfirmed reports out of St Louis that seem to corroborate the officer's version of events- NANESB!].
As tensions between citizens and area law enforcement escalated- with looting and clashes with police in riot gear following the shooting- state and local officials decided to hand over authority to the Missouri Highway Patrol and Captain Ron Johnston. Johnson espoused a hands-off approach to de-escalate tensions, in some instances outsourcing public safety to domestic terror groups like the Black Panthers. However, the clashes and looting continued over the next several nights [further agitated by outside groups such as the Revolutionary Communist Party and New Black Panther Party- NANESB!].
Heading into the weekend, Gov Nixon ordered a midnight curfew for the city of Ferguson as the looting and clashes continued. However, looters ignored the curfew and raided a Dominoes Pizza, Family Dollar store, a self-storage unit and an auto parts store. Ferguson police chief Thomas Jackson also released surveillance video purportedly showing Brown committing a strong-arm robbery of a nearby convenience store shortly before the shooting took place, despite pleas from the DOJ not to do so.
An autopsy was also conducted that determined Brown was shot six times- none of them in the back, contrary to early eyewitness accounts. US Attorney General Eric Holder has ordered a federal autopsy of Brown and ordered FBI agents to canvas the neighborhood to search for possible additional witnesses to the shooting.