Originally published at the NAAIJ on Aug 12th, 2014. Check the NAAIJ for most recent updates
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As of early Monday 08/18, the curfew has been lifted and the National Guard has been ordered into the area. The No Fly Zone was also lifted that day.
On 08/26 CNN released audio of an Internet chat that appears to capture the shots that killed Michael Brown. Mashable
On 09/04 the DoJ announced it will be investigating human and civil rights abuses across the entire Ferguson Police Force
This is a live view of Ferguson
See bottom of article for 3AM Press Conferences
The situation in Ferguson has escalated in recent days following the murder of another unarmed black teen in America. A cursory search for ‘unarmed black teen killed in America 2014’ yields about 6,000,000 results.
This teens name was Michael Brown. He was 18 years old, A Graduate of Normandy High School in St. Louis. He was scheduled to start classes at Vatterott Trade College yesterday.
Michael was shot by Officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson police multiple times while unarmed from a distance of at least 30 feet on August 9th. Officer Wilson was identified by Ferguson police on Aug 15th. According to witnesses Brown was shot with his hands up and then shot at least once while on the ground. An autospy confirms he was shot at least 6 times, two of which were head shots.
Officer Darren Wilson
Immediately following the shooting protests began, As night fell protests turned into looting and rioting. Images circulated on social media of black youth riding around with shotguns, presumably keeping police from killing any more unarmed teenagers.
As a result of the unrest, Officially citing ‘imminent hazard’ for any aircraft. A No Fly Zone has been erected over the city and a standing city-wide ‘Law Enforcement Operation’ has been declared. While any danger to aircraft would be virtually non-existent (what has changed for objects traveling at such heights?) the true reason for the No Fly Zone is probably closer to ‘damage control’ and preventing any media with enough resources to have a helicopter from providing any coverage, assuming that media would even have enough sense to do so. After all, Robin Williams just died.
Some journalists of integrity were attempting to cover the unrest, And then this happened
According to the FAA the No Fly Zone restriction is in effect until August 18th.
This is the relevant legislation cited in the notice.
In addition to a no fly zone Gov Nixon has implemented the first stages of Martial Law, Declaring a State of Emergency and imposing a curfew on the population. From The Huffington Post:
“Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) has signed an order declaring a state of emergency and ordering a curfew in Ferguson, he announced in a press conference on Saturday.
The curfew will last from midnight to 5 a.m., according to Capt. Ronald Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, who also spoke at the press conference.
“What we’re doing now is not who we are,” Johnson said amid shouts from community members during the press conference.
Johnson noted there would be no trucks or tear gas used to enforce the curfew. He acknowledged that tear gas had been used against protesters early Saturday morning, but said he did not order officers to take that action.”
Wikipedia describes the implementation of martial law as follows:
“Typically, the imposition of martial law accompanies curfews, the suspension of civil law, civil rights, habeas corpus, and the application or extension of military law or military justice to civilians.”
What is not being mentioned in most of the coverage. Is the justifiable rage felt by the wide range of innocent victims. Statistics of the nature of how many murders are committed by Police Forces for any given period of time are exceptionally hard to come by. For just 2014 in America alone I attempted to discover the number of unarmed victims of police. By the time I got through August I had over half a dozen names
As a result of the international headlines and thousands taking to the streets, The FBI has taken an interest in this government sanctioned homicide.
US Attorney General Eric Holder has ordered the Department of Justice to conduct an additional autopsy, to be performed by a federal medical examiner. This will show how many times Brown was shot with his hands up or while not facing the officer or while already deceased on the ground. According to witness reports shots were fired by Officer Darren Wilson that exactly match each of those descriptions.
Perhaps it’s about time for citizens to start considering firing their police force like the city of Hampton, Florida did. Albeit their issue was rampant corruption – not rampant psychopathy and racism and a tendency to commit murder.
The Reddit community has been compiling live updates here
A few videos recorded from a Livestream Broadcast are available on this Livestream: http://new.livestream.com/accounts/9035483
A witness account of what occurred has been posted here
A witness account is as follows:
“I have and know the full story…along with the dispatch release. Michael Brown and his friend were walking down the street, the cop pulled up and said “Get the fuck off the street and onto the sidewalk” Mikes friend told the cop “We’re only going right down the street”. Cop chilled for a few seconds and drove away, got mad and drove back. Boys still not on sidewalk. Opened his car door while vehicle was in motion and hit Michael, slamming the door of course. The cop then grabbed Michael by the throat while still in the car and tried to pull him in. Cop said “Stop resisting or I’m going to shoot you”. Michael Brown pushed off and away from the car. While still in the car, cop shot Michael Brown 1 time. The boys ran, cop got out and started to chase them, then shot Michael Brown in the back…Michael Brown turned around threw his hands up and went to kneel down. Cop then fired 4 more shots hitting Brown in the head and chest. The Police Department didn’t even know about it. They found out via the news calling and telling them. They shipped the shooter off immediately and people flipped out…”
The YouTube user StormCloudsGathering has posted video of the friend collaborating this, The narrator also points out many other relevant details.
A cell phone video of the immediate aftermath of the shooting and some more context from witnesses has been made available by CNN here.
(Many thanks and much respect to @TimCast of VICE News for Livestreaming this perspective. All images except for the one above are stills from his Livestream)
I noted the time each image was captured and have created the following timeline of events.
On the first night of the curfew 43 minutes passed before police gave the following warning several times over a megaphone:
“You’re violating a state imposed curfew. You must disperse peacefully or you will be subject to arrest and or other actions. You’re violating state imposed curfew. You must disperse.
Failure to comply may result in arrest and/or other actions”
This was the scene at 12:36AM
(Image stills from TimCast Livestream)
And at 12:52AM
The very first gas canister was fired at about 12:48AM, 5 minutes after the warning was given.
Rubber bullets were fired at 12:50AM
At 12:54AM there is what sounds like possible live ammunition fire. Shell casings from .40 Calibre rounds are observed later.
At moment later this is the scene (12:55AM)
At 1:03AM a LRAD Sound Cannon can be heard in use.
At 1:15AM two people were arrested, This is an image of them being handcuffed and placed into vans.
In total 7 people were arrested. During the police response one person was shot. The male victim is in critical condition.
Here are all the ‘3AM Press Conferences’ that have been released
08/21 Press Conference
08/20 Press Conference
08/19 Press Conference
08/18 Press Conference
08/17 Press Conference
08/16 Press Conference
This is a breaking story. More details may emerge and this article may be updated.
Nigel Todman is an Independent Journalist, Technical Consultant, Social Activist, Web Developer and Computer Programmer from Ontario, Canada. Nigel is also the Assistant Webmaster for the NAAIJ. Add him to Facebook and/or Follow him on Twitter E-mail: nigel [at] naaij [dot] org [PGP]