(A scene from the protests in Ferguson, MO. Photo by Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)
It was hard to comprehend the chaos on my screen last night. Men in full military armor, aiming high-powered rifles atop SWAT trucks. Swarms of people with scarf-covered faces, running from rubber bullets, through clouds of tear gas. Was it Fallujah, Iraq? No….this was a police-vs-citizen confrontation in Ferguson, Missouri. (Watch footage from last night’s I Am Mike Brown protest)
It’s been 5 days since a police officer in Ferguson shot and killed an unarmed black 18-year-old named Michael Brown. And those days have been filled with grief, confusion, and increasingly, anger…especially given the lack of transparency on the part of the police investigators, the militarized war zone atmosphere created in the streets, the lack of input from Missouri’s government officials or the President, and the fact that witnesses to the shooting have been interviewed by the media more than they’ve been talked to by detectives.
Today, it was Anonymous who released the name of the shooting officer, not the St. Louis County PD, after hacking into the department’s system. (Update: Anon’s twitter account, @TheAnonMessage, was suspended after posting that information.) Everything seems terribly mishandled by the folks we elect to serve and hire to protect.
Lets see what President Obama has to say at 12:15pm about this ongoing crisis….as he goes live from Martha’s Vineyard. During the riots on Weds night, he and Michelle reportedly “danced to every song” at the birthday party of a pal out in the Vineyard. No shade…just pointing out contrast.
Watch Obama’s statement below…