Ferguson Disgrace: Police Fire on Unarmed Crowds, Attack News Trucks

Illustration for article titled Ferguson Disgrace: Police Fire on Unarmed Crowds, Attack News Trucks

Today in Ferguson, following the arrest of two journalists police continued their all out assault on the liberties and rights of the town's citizens. Here's the latest update on what we know so far.

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On Saturday, police in Ferguson, Missouri shot and killed an 18-year-old unarmed man named Michael Brown. Since then, protests have taken place throughout the town, which has a population of around 21,000. For those wondering what was going in Ferguson on Wednesday it might have been hard getting information. Many of the major networks were not airing live coverage of anything. Add to that journalists who were actually trying to report on the scene were being rounded up, blocked from the town or just outright arrested.

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Via the I Am Mike Brown livestream KARG Argus Radio, viewers watched as police fired rubber bullets into crowds of unarmed citizens. We watched as police advanced on a group of peaceful demonstrators. I Am Mike Brown livestream reported police were demanding that they turn off their cameras. "Because they don't want witnesses," the reporter said. This definitely echoes the experience of Huffington Post reporter Ryan Reilly, who was arrested earlier in the day after a SWAT team invaded the McDonald's he was working out of. When he took a photo, an officer demanded to see his ID. Last I checked, taking a photo was not something that required an ID in this coutry. Reilly was then assaulted and arrested, along with Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery.

The scene from I Am Mike Brown's live stream grew incredibly tense. Crowds of people were standing in the street, with their hands above their head. The police began firing tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowd. The crowd did not provoke them. The police took the first shots. The police continued firing as the crowd retreated into a residential neighborhood. The police continued firing into the neighborhood without regard for property or personal safety of the residents.

Unfortunately, the I Am Mike Brown livestream has gone in and out over the evening.

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Here's more footage of the assault on the crowds:

Ferguson is also a no-fly zone now, which is chilling to say the least. Police were definitely on a mission to shut down news reporting in the city. Police threw tear gas at an Al Jazeera news truck, where reporters were attempting to set up a live feed:

I'd like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that so far, the only ones in this situation who have killed someone are THE FUCKING FERGUSON POLICE DEPARTMENT. This is how they respond when their citizens, their own community, stand up and ask them to answer questions about the shooting of an unarmed teenager. Their response is exactly: "Fuck you, don't you dare question our authority." But with guns and armored vehicles and threats and tear gas instead of words. Goddammit.

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Redditors have assembled the latest news from the region; I strongly suggest everyone check it out. This is how the police have responded to questions about their actions so far:

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To those who don't understand the importance and power of social media, think about this. Think about who was bringing you the news from Ferguson. News outlets such as MSNBC broadcast live streams from other sources, because they were shut out of the region by police. The police shut down the free press, to hide their actions, like cowards. Citizens, armed with cameras, smartphones and other devices used Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Vine, Instagram and more to show what was going on in their community and hold police accountable the actions they were trying to hide.

As of now, there are no live streams left. This is terrifying.

There was a lot more that happened that I was not able to get to on my deadline. If we have missed anything here, please share in the comments below.

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If you see tweets from journalists, witnesses or other victims, please share them here in the replies to this post.

Image via Getty.

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DISCUSSION

99% of my Twitter feed is talking about this. It's incredible what's happening. I am beyond words. The pictures are especially telling. The tear gas smoke, the guns trained on protesters. I wish I could post one, it's of two protesters with their backs turned that have red sniper rifle dots on their backs. (Edit - figured out how to post from Twitter)

The news just in says a councilman, an actual government official, was just taken into custody by the out of control police.

How dare we let this happen in our country. How did our police become autonomous little armies? How can they arrest and try to do harm to journalists? They're out of control and I am so worried there will be more deaths because of this brigade of trigger-happy idiots who wouldn't know parts of the Constitution if it bit them in their combat fatigue-wearing asses. I am just besides myself.