Friday, August 15, 2014

Cops damned if they do, damned if they don't

Ferguson: Police Use Tear Gas, Rubber Bullets On Crowd Protesting Teen's Death

Police officers patrolling the streets of Ferguson
Credit:  Reuters
Source:  The Sidney Morning Herald
By Wesley Lowery, Aug. 13, 2014,

Ferguson, Misssouri: For a third night, summer rage pitted the people of Ferguson against those sworn to protect them.

On Saturday, officers shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown.

On Sunday, resident protests turned to riots, marked by looting and the burning of several local stores.

And, taking to the streets again Monday night, locals were met with tear gas and rubber bullets.

Protests against police brutality turned contentious early on Monday evening, leading to a standoff between residents and dozens of officers in full riot gear just blocks from where Mr Brown was gunned down.

And the chief of police said on Tuesday that he had reconsidered his decision to release the name of the police officer involved in the fatal shooting of an unarmed African-American teenager and would not do so because of concerns about the officer's safety.

The Ferguson Police Department had said it would release the officer's name by noon Tuesday, but then it reversed itself after it said that threats had been made on social media against the officer and the city's police.

"The value of releasing the name is far outweighed by the risk of harm to the officer and his family," the police chief, Thomas Jackson, said.

The chief's change of heart came amid another day of protests in the St Louis suburbs where the teenager, Michael Brown, 18, was shot several times Saturday by an officer as he and a friend walked from a corner shop to his grandmother's apartment. The circumstances of the shooting remain in dispute. The police say Brown hit the officer and tried to steal his gun; Brown's family and friends deny that.

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