FERGUSON UNDER FIRE: Tensions Awaiting the Darren Wilson Verdict

By Cheri Roberts

mike-brown-ferguson-map-protests-verdict

IMAGE SOURCE: Google Maps

The spotlight that should be on Ferguson is instead sweeping the outskirts by Governmental hubris while truth remains in the shadows. Audio recordings reported on by the Associated Press (AP) and published by the New York Times (NYT) and elsewhere, show local Ferguson officials sought and received Federal approval to close some 37-miles of air-space above Ferguson Missouri, in order to keep the media out for at least 12 days this past August. What we do not know is how frequently this same scenario has been acted out in Ferguson since or even at other scenes of public unrest. Will it again be enacted when the Darren Wilson verdict in the August 9 death of unarmed Missouri Teenager, Michael Brown Jr., comes out from the Grand Jury within the next week or so?

Revolutionary Verdict?

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IMAGE SOURCE: mint.com

The St. Louis County Prosecutor’s Office is being very vague with the public about a real timeline and has only alluded the verdict will come down sometime in “mid- November”. This is more than likely an intentional strategy as no one knows what to expect in the streets of Ferguson, in the state of Missouri or across the nation if Wilson is not indicted. There are rumors of leaks that a “not guilty” verdict is in fact what we will hear and activist group Anonymous is publicly calling for a full-scale nationwide “revolution”. The action alert, as seen below, can be found on the groups PasteBin account.

  1. Anonymous Operation Ferguson – ACTION ALERT

  2. RISE UP EVERY CITY EVERYWHERE IN THE USA

  3. As we recently leaked, the Grand Jury decision is immanent, and they are NOT going to indict Darren Wilson. Nor is the US DOJ going to intervene.

  4. http://pastebin.com/CJ5ipU7W

  5. The time has come for nationwide revolution. The time has come to coalesce all our demands into ONE: THE KILLING MUST STOP NOW!!  We have two or maybe three weeks to plan and bring together a nationwide uprising the likes of which the USA has never seen.

  6. First we call on every activist in the WORLD who has the means to make your way to Ferguson, Missouri – USA for the Grand Jury announcement. We know the hearts and minds of the local protesters there, and their leaders – and you are WELCOME you are WANTED and you will find love and support there. So if you can, GO TO FERGUSON ASAP.

  7. To our wonderful Ferguson protesters, we call on you – as you did before, as you have always done – to support these protesters from outside your community. As part of your own preparations for the Grand Jury announcement make plans for how you can assist and support and feed everyone.

  8. Finally, if you can’t go to Ferguson, join the effort to organize huge protests in your own community. You have just enough time before the announcement to really get organized and strategize and get the word out. Form affinity groups, discuss – reach out across your networks. If we can end police violence and militarization once for all in the USA, then Mike Brown – who may not have gotten justice, will at least not have died in vein. But do not be under any illusion, this will take a nationwide revolution. The time is now.

  9. To our fellow hacktivists in Anonymous, we must also fight like no other time in the past. Prepare your target lists, ready your tools, meet online with your crew mates to plan your response – and together we will give them a revolution they will never forget. Let us prepare to be the air force for the brave troops on the ground. Let us show them that when justice is denied, we are perfectly capable of exacting vengeance.

  10. For Mike Brown, for all the unarmed people wantonly slain by murderous cops – WE RISE!!

  11. SIGNED  —  Anonymous

  12. Web Site – http://www.OperationFerguson.cf

  13. Twitter – @OpFerguson

FOIA Extortionists At Work

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IMAGE SOURCE: psmag.com

For activists and media alike, legitimate  Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests for relevant information and documentation regarding the Mike Brown case have largely gone unanswered and in many, many cases “extortion” can be the only word used to describe the outrageously exorbitant fees that at times, according to another AP report — this one in the Huffington Post, officials in Ferguson are,

 “…charging nearly 10 times the cost of some of their own employees’ salaries before they will agree to turn over files [pertaining to the Mike Brown case] under public records laws.”

According to Missouri law, these same fees could be waived altogether and the documents released if deemed to be in the better interest of the public.

Huffington Post reports,

In one case, it billed The Associated Press $135 an hour — for nearly a day’s work — merely to retrieve a handful of email accounts since the shooting. That fee compares with an entry-level, hourly salary of $13.90 in the city clerk’s office, and it didn’t include costs to review the emails or release them. The AP has not paid for the search because it has yet to negotiate the cost.

When Race Is An Issue

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IMAGE SOURCE: taikonenfea.wordpress.com

Between documents being withheld from the public, the price gouging extortion practices and missing ballistic evidence lost by Ferguson officials; without forgetting also the very Orwellian air-space closures meant to attempt to keep the greater public in the dark…it is undeniable we have some serious problems.

Just yesterday the parents of Mike Brown testified before the United Nations on behalf of their son and the continued situation in Ferguson. Some readers may not understand why the UN, but according to CNN,

Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr. spoke to the United Nations Committee Against Torture — which also works against cruel or degrading treatment or punishment by government authorities.”

mike-brown-ferguson-parents-geneva-un-cnn

IMAGE SOURCE: CNN screenshot.

The proceeding with their testimony was held behind closed doors however; Brown’s parents released a statement that can be read in its entirety HERE. Brown’s parents request that the U.N. panel recommend the immediate arrest of Officer Darren Wilson, as well as an end to.

“…racial profiling and racially-biased police harassment across the jurisdictions surrounding Ferguson.”

In addition, their statement requests, that the attorney general and Department of Justice,

“…must conduct a nationwide investigation of systematic police brutality and harassment in black and brown communities, and youth in particular. Methodology and findings of this investigation must be made publicly available.”

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IMAGE SOURCE: NBC News screenshot

Brown, Sr. says they went to Geneva,

“…we came here to the U.N. to get justice for our son.”

Last week the Department of Justice (DoJ) held a two-day training session with St. Louis police on racial bias and fair and impartial policing as part of their investigation into the Brown killing, Darren Wilson and the Ferguson police department. The training was hosted by the Justice Department’s office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). Ron Davis, director of COPS, told MSNBC,

The aim is to get police leaders to recognize how racial bias can affect the way officers interact with various communities; that racism is real; and to understand that the deep mistrust many people have of the police, particularly African Americans, is built on generations of ill treatment and disparities.”

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IMAGE SOURCE: npr.org

MSNBC also reported that,

A shake-up of the Ferguson police department may be on the horizon, where Chief Thomas Jackson would resign and the department could be disbanded and taken over by the St. Louis County police.”

And,

Weeks after Brown’s death, the Ferguson City Council began to introduce ordinances aimed at dismantling a system of arrest warrants, fines and fees that disproportionately impacted black residents and filled the city coffers. Income related to court fines and fees were the second highest revenue stream for the city last year.”

False Sincerity and Expectations On The Ground

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IMAGE SOURCE: thedailybanter.com

Truth about the brown killing isn’t the only thing in the shadows in Ferguson. In fact, although both sides are publicly calling for non-violence, State and Federal authorities have quietly surrounded Ferguson and other areas in the state with hard-core military tactical gear in an abundance that far exceeds anything we have seen thus far as a response. Regardless of their rhetoric, the Feds and local officials are clearly expecting pandemonium. The set-up to real martial law in Ferguson is already lying in wait.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars has been spent on new weaponry and riot gear by officials and departments across the region.

Counter Current News is reporting that a Black Hawk helicopter is parked at Lambert Airport in St. Louis and that,

  • Global Hawk will have all coms jammed in ferguson

  • 300 Department of Homeland Security SUVs parked in a 3 story underground garage in STL

  • Police are upset and speaking frequently about releasing names of family members

  • Conversation taking place online about Ferguson are being monitored by a Fusion Center which is currently acting as a Early Warning Station for “Terrorism” pertaining to Ferguson

  • There are 24 agencies in total, local police getting orders from federal agencies

  • There has been 23k has been spent on non lethal weaponry 17k of that from a federal grant

They also note that Officer Darren Wilson is currently in Georgia and not in Missouri and allege, in addition to the heavy build-up of man-power and weaponry,

Cyber Security experts will be on the ground in Ferguson assisting police, who are taking orders from federal agencies. They will be involved in hacking or stopping electronic devices that the global hawk doesn’t affect (e.g. ham, frs). Prepare for this accordingly. They are trying to black out the police brutality that the State is preparing for against protesters.”

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IMAGE SOURCE: politico.com

Although MSNBC and others have reported that Gov. Dixon plans to re-deploy the National Guard before the verdict is released, Scott Holste, a spokesman for Nixon, said he was not in a position to talk about the kinds of plans that were being made. Dixon has made it clear he would not tolerate any sort of violent reactions or protests. The National Guard is allegedly on stand-by stationed at Scott Air Force Base where it is reported Northrup Gruman has been hired as the IT contractor.

Both the Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and the victim’s parents, Leslie McSpadden and Mike Brown Sr., have come forward asking for peaceful, non-violent actions. The Governor said he was “not expecting violence”, but would be prepared. Ferguson Mayor, James Knowles, told local media that authorities must “prepare for the worst” and by all accounts and purposes it is clear that they have. Mike Brown Sr says he too is expecting protests after the verdict telling CNN [in order to get the message out to the masses],

We understand that our son is gone, but the movement will be that — we’re trying to make sure that this doesn’t happen to anyone else.”

Speaking on the latest measures taken by authorities to thwart all potential negative reactions to the verdict,  Brown’s cousin and a family spokesperson, Ty Pruitt, also told CBS St. Louis,

The police are getting ready for war when they should be getting ready for a trial. That to me means they’ve already made their decision.”

 Renaldo Ward, a 33-year-old local resident also told the St. Louis, Missouri CBS affiliate,

We are getting prepared for war, and that’s just crazy.”

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IMAGE SOURCE: stlouis.cbslocal.com/Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images

Also according to CBS St. Louis, activists are trying to be of service to authorities and have requested a 48-hour advance notice of the verdict in order to, “help prevent widespread violence” by appropriately preparing for the protests. Ed Magee, a spokesman for St. Louis County Attorney Bob McCulloch, said the coalition’s request is, “being considered”.

At a news conference, the Don’t Shoot Coalition said they want to “de-escalate violence without de-escalating action”.

Ferguson protest organizers have created 19 “rules of engagement” they want the authorities to follow, including a rule that protesters be treated as “citizens and not enemy combatants.”

Governor Nixon told CNN he wants to be prepared for any contingency and that,

These measures are not being taken because we are convinced that violence will occur, but because we have a responsibility to prepare for any contingency. This is America. People have a right to express their views and grievances, but they do not have the right to put their fellow citizens or their property at risk.”

Open Questions

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This writer openly asks, if this is really America and citizens have their full rights intact, why would dissent be squelched and kept from the eyes of the world? Why would documents be withheld from being rightfully obtained? Why would members of the press, citizens and activists be extorted in their effort to uncover the facts? Why would evidence simply disappear without repercussion? Why would there be a possibility of a, “not guilty” verdict in the Mike Brown case? Why is race being denied by Wilson and Ferguson officials when statistics in Missouri and across the nation show that racism is still an ugly and deadly stain on the map of America?

Why indeed…

*

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13 responses to “FERGUSON UNDER FIRE: Tensions Awaiting the Darren Wilson Verdict

  1. Pingback: LIAR OF THE WEEK: Ferguson and St. Louis Missouri Officials | Challenging the Rhetoric·

  2. Grand juries issue (or do not issue) indictments… they don’t issue verdicts. Verdicts are what criminal case juries issue. We aren’t there yet in this case… that’s what the grand jury is deciding… whether the evidence warrants a criminal trial or not. I would guess not.

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  3. Pingback: Good News for Gluten, Bad News for Wheat | Challenging the Rhetoric·

  4. Pingback: LIAR OF THE WEEK: RED FLAG NEWS | Challenging the Rhetoric·

  5. Pingback: Who Will Bring Violence to Ferguson? | Challenging the Rhetoric·

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