Tag Archives: looting

Peaceful Protests End In Violence As Gunfire Erupts On Anniversary Of Michael Brown Shooting

Ferguson, Mo. – A day of peaceful protests commemorating Michael Brown, the 18-year-old unarmed man who was shot and killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson one year ago on Sunday, turned violent after gunfire erupted Sunday night leaving one man in critical condition.

Police claim that gunfire was initially exchanged between two groups of protesters, and that officers only engaged after one of the protesters opened fire on four detectives in an unmarked vehicle. They returned fire, and the man was critically injured.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that gunfire erupted after police officers had threatened to arrest any protesters who stayed in the street, and at that point protesters were “estimated at fewer than 100 and were outnumbered by members of the media.”

At a 2:30 a.m. press conference on Monday, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said that the groups exchanging gunfire “were criminals” rather than protesters, and that he believes there is a “small group of people out there that are intent on making sure we don’t have peace that prevails.”

The man injured by police has been identified as Tyrone Harris Jr., 18, from St. Louis. His father, Tyrone Harris Sr., told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that his son went to high school and was good friends with Michael Brown, and that, regarding Sunday night’s shooting, he thinks “there’s a lot more to this than what’s being said.”

Belmar said that in addition to being in an unmarked vehicle, the four detectives were not wearing body cameras. This decision was criticized by coalitions such as the Ferguson Action Council, who said that “having plainclothes officers without body cameras and proper identification in the protest setting leaves us with only the officer’s account of the incident, which is clearly problematic.”

[RELATED: Ferguson Police Have Body Cameras… But Don’t Wear Them]

Reuters noted that the gunfire on Sunday night was in “marked contrast to a day of mostly subdued, peaceful commemorations” in Ferguson, where about about 1,000 people gathered together to share 4-1/2 minutes of silence in honor of the 4-1/2 hours Brown’s body lay in the street after he was shot, and to release doves and embark on a “silent march through Ferguson to honor Brown and others killed in confrontations with police.”

On Sunday night, a few local businesses were looted and robbed, and Post-Dispatch reporter Paul Hampel said that he was beaten and robbed while covering the protests.

The Powerful Baltimore Protest on Monday That Media Ignored

Baltimore, MD- It is the scene that most media is ignoring. While the wall-to-wall focus of national media on Baltimore is on the rioting and violent imagery, most media ignored the growing crowds calling for an end to the violence and demanding that young people stop burning buildings and looting stores. Over 100 clergy marched through the streets of Baltimore last night in an effort to end the violence, and they did it without riot shields and military vehicles.

As over 5,000 law enforcement officials are converging on Baltimore as well as another 5,000 National Guard troops, the nation continues to watch the city that exploded with violent riots on Monday. Images of a CVS looted and burning, buildings set ablaze, juveniles in the streets who have thrown rocks at police. These are the images that most of the nation will associate with Baltimore, and yet most media has all but ignored more than a week of peaceful protests demanding answers into the death of Freddie Gray.

The question that must be answered: how did Freddie Gray’s spinal cord become severed while in police custody? I had the chance to interview the attorney for the Gray family as the riots in Baltimore took place. Jason Downs points out the family of Gray has specifically called for no violence in the wake of Freddie’s death, and also points out that while media will turn their head to watch the violence, the Gray family continues to wait for answers.

Ben Swann Live in Ferguson Missouri on “eve” of Grand Jury Decision

Ferguson, MO- As the community of Ferguson, Missouri prepares for the reading of a grand jury decision on the police killing of African-American teenager Michael Brown, Ben Swann is on the ground taking a hard look at the issues behind the unrest that shook the nation.

Broadcasting live with RT America, Ben Swann goes beyond the headlines to examine the growing militarization of American police, the emerging “policing for profit” trend and why the issues in Ferguson are much bigger than just the case of Officer Darren Wilson and the Brown family.

Food Stamp Riots: A Looming Domestic Threat?

One in six Americans are now on food stamps, amounting to 20 percent of all American households and 47.6 million individuals.

A record $80 billion was spent on the food subsidy program last year, but an across-the-board cut is scheduled to go into effect on November 1. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), food stamp payments will decrease by $36 per month for a family of four (currently each household receives an average of $272 per month).

Could the decrease in funding lead to riots?

On Fox Business, anchor Neil Cavuto reported that the US government will spend $80 million preparing for possible violence as a result of the food stamp decrease. This money will go towards protecting the IRS and other government buildings from American citizens.

“This could be all Hell breaks loose day,” Cavuto said.

Cavuto’s guest, TeaParty.net Chief Strategist Niger Innis, said that people often act out when entitlements are threatened. He compared the situation to what previously happened in Greece.

“This is really frightening. We are on a slow march to becoming Greece,” Innis said. “When 50 million people are on food stamps then you have a situation where it’s obvious that what government can give to you, government can take away.”

Innis later pointed out that cutting food stamps may increase chances of violence in the short term, but in the long term people will likely find themselves in a better situation if they get off food stamps.

Food stamp “rioting” too place on October 14 in two Louisiana Wal-Mart stores when food stamps were temporarily down due to Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) outages.

During this outage, the spending limit on EBT cards was removed but Wal-Mart allowed individuals with EBT cards to buy food anyways. Not surprisingly, the shelves were left totally empty. Some food stamp recipients exited the stores with $700 worth of food and merchandise.

Should the government be concerned about possible food stamp rioting as a result of November’s decrease in funding? Or is the government reacting and overspending?

Tell us what you think in the comments section below.