Someone set fire to a Michael Brown memorial near where the 18-year-old was shot in Ferguson, Missouri on Tuesday morning.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the stuffed animals, notes and candles left to commemorate the life of Brown on Canefield Drive, the street where he was killed by Officer Darren Wilson on August 9, were set ablaze by an unknown person or persons between 6:30 and 7 a.m. It is unclear if the memorial was burned mistakenly by one of the remembrance candles lit to honor Brown, or if someone started the fire on purpose.
Some residents of the area were upset, claiming the fire was set by someone in the pre-dawn hours early Tuesday and that they smelled gasoline in the aftermath. One witness said the fire started sometime after 5 a.m., when he drove by and saw no problem, and 6 a.m., when he saw the memorial ablaze. Another said it started between 6:30 and 7 a.m.
David Whitt, 34, the leader of a group called the Canfield Watchmen, was among those who said they smelled gasoline.
"There was no way a candle did this," Whitt said. "That fire was burning too high and too hot."
This memorial was one of two on the street, the other remains untouched. Brown supporters have already rebuilt the tribute.
What's so crazy regarding the Ferguson situation, with the obviously corrupt police department, slow-footed state Governor and untrustworthy prosecutor is now, the police feel the need to release a statement clarifying they a) didn't start the fire and b) did their job to put it out. Per the River Front Times, from Ferguson Police Chief Tom "You asked for the robbery video" Jackson:
We're all saddened by the fire that was reported at one of the Michael Brown Memorials this morning and are trying to obtain as much information as possible to determine what happened. At this time the cause is unknown.
To anyone who believes we didn't do everything in our power to put this fire out I want to apologize and let you know that was not the case. Some of our police cars are equipped with an emergency kit that includes a fire extinguisher and Sgt. (Harry) Dilworth was first on the scene and attempted to put the fire out but couldn't so he alerted the Fire Department and they ultimately put out the fire.
Anyone who has any information or videos please reach out to us as this will help as we investigate this incident.
This whole thing is a mess.