Recently, in Ferguson, Missouri (in case you’ve missed it):
– Ferguson Chief of Police Thomas Jackson called a press conference Friday morning to release the name of the officer who killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown. Jackson used the opportunity to release a video and a 19-page report about a convenience store robbery the morning of the shooting, before naming officer Darren Wilson as the killer. It was only admitted in a separate press conference later that afternoon that Wilson hadn’t actually known that Brown was a robbery suspect when he stopped him and that, in fact, he stopped Brown and his friend Dorian Johnson for walking in the street. Jackson released the robbery information that the media had no way of knowing to ask for because, he said, the media asked for it. Jackson did not say whether or not he initially implied a connection between the robbery and the shooting to impugn Brown’s character and distract the public from the fact that Wilson shot an unarmed teenager “more than a couple” of times for the crime of Not Getting on the Fucking Sidewalk When Instructed.
– Later reports said that Wilson didn’t originally know that Brown was a robbery suspect, but then he thought he might have seen cigars in Brown’s hand, and that’s why he stopped him. Further updates as new stories are generated.
– Stealing a box of Swisher Sweets from a convenience store is not, in the U.S., at the time of this writing, punishable by death.
– Neither is being a person who stole a box of Swisher Sweets, rather than a cartoon angel who walks around accompanied by a flock of flower-strewing songbirds.
– Even if he has marijuana in his system.
– As protests kick back into high volatility in the wake of the release of the convenience store video, looting resumed Friday night. The police were, at this point, basically unable to intervene because they’d so thoroughly screwed up any ability to interact peacefully with the public, so protesters were obliged to line up to protect local stores from looting. Major media has largely managed to miss reporting on that part.
– On Saturday, Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ronald Johnson, now in charge of security in Ferguson, announced a curfew from midnight to 5:00 a.m. The curfew, he said, would not be enforced with teargas or trucks.
– Sunday night, officers used teargas to push back protesters who remained on the streets three hours before the midnight curfew. Johnson said the teargas was in response to several Molotov cocktails. An eight-year-old boy was among those hit by gas canisters.
– Amnesty International is on the ground in Ferguson in their first-ever action on U.S. soil.
– The governor of Missouri is sending in the National Guard to restore order, because a bunch of guys in camo with military-grade equipment has been so helpful so far.
– The people of Ferguson are cleaning up their town.
– As of this writing, Darren Wilson has not been taken into custody.
Also, people have things to say:
The Root’s Diamond Sharp has curated a number of striking quotes and comments about Michael Brown’s death and everything that has happened in Ferguson since, including this one from Roxane Gay.
I don’t care if Mike Brown was going to college soon. This should not matter. We should not have to prove Mike Brown was worthy of living. We should not have to account for the ways in which he is suitably respectable. We should not have to prove that his body did not deserve to be riddled with bullets. His community should not have to silence their anger so they won’t be accused of rioting, so they won’t become targets too.
Trudy at Gradient Lair:
State violence occurring here does not have to mirror any other place to be real when this violence has centuries of history in the U.S. and when Black people are dying right now. Not metaphorically. Really dying right now.
— Candace Brown (@CandaceTX) August 16, 2014
After door window broken, lines in front of it so no one can loot https://t.co/K1VhlWo8Lf
— Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) August 16, 2014
What's so frustrating is that now we are talking about a robbery and not the killing of an unarmed kid. #ferguson
— Zerlina Maxwell (@ZerlinaMaxwell) August 15, 2014
Twitter: Oh my God, Ferguson is like the Middle East. No, it's actually pretty American. pic.twitter.com/KbzX50rk77
— Evan Hill (@evanchill) August 14, 2014
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