Yesterday Walt wondered if any cigars had been found on the body of Michael Brown, the young black man accused of robbing a Ferguson MO convenience store a few minutes before he was shot dead by a local cop. Later yesterday, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said that "evidence of the stolen merchandise" was indeed found in Brown's possession.
The police also distributed copies of surveillance video showing a large black man throttling a smaller Asian shopkeeper before leaving the store with some ill-gotten goods. (A montage of stills from the video is in yesterday's last post on WWW.) You have to admire the chutzpah of the Brown family's attorney, Algonquin J. Calhoun [Daryl Parks, surely! Ed.] who admitted that the man shown in the surveillance footage "appears to be" Brown. But he and others said the family was "blindsided" by the allegations and release of the footage. Even if it was Brown in the video, they said, the crime didn't justify the shooting of a teen after he put up his hands in surrender to the officer, as his friends are saying.
Another family lawyer, Benjamin Crump, said police "are choosing to disseminate information that is very strategic to try to help them justify the execution-style" killing. Attorney Crump also represented the family of Trayvon Martin, the teenager fatally shot by a Florida neighborhood watch organizer who was later acquitted of murder. Walt wonders how the Brown family can afford to hire not just one but a team of lawyers.
Meanwhile, on West Florissant Avenue, la loota continua.
Just before midnight, some in what had been a large and rowdy crowd of "protesters" broke into the same small store which Brown was accused of robbing, and began looting it, according to Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson. Oh yeah, they broke into a liquor store too. A little brandy to go with the cigars, perhaps.
Capt. Johnson said police backed off to try and ease the tension. No arrests were made. "We had to evaluate the security of the officers there and also the rioters," Johnson said. "We just felt it was better to move back." In other words, the looters were allowed to get away with it. After all, the FBI is on the scene, and we wouldn't want to see anyone's civil rights infringed...right?