Socialist Worker

Fury as cops shoot black man at Ferguson anniversary protest

by Annette Mackin
Issue No. 2466

Cops in riot gear stand off with protesters

Cops in riot gear stand off with protesters (Pic: VOA)


A state of emergency has been declared in Ferguson, Missouri, after cops shot a young black man during a protest to mark the anniversary of the police killing of Michael Brown.

As Socialist Worker went to press Tyrone Harris was said to be in a “critical, unstable” condition after being shot last Sunday night.

Tyrone is an 18-year-old graduate of Normandy high school which Michael also attended. His father said the two had been close.

Demonstrations had taken place throughout the day to mark one year since unarmed black teenager Michael was gunned down by police.

Hundreds marched and stood silent for four and a half minutes at the spot where he was killed, representing the number of hours that his body lay in the street unattended.

Police allege they opened fire on Sunday night after an exchange of gun shots between two groups.

Four plain clothes detectives have since been placed on administrative leave, whereas critically injured Tyrone has been charged with assault.

After the shooting, riot police quickly moved to crack down on protesters they had been watching all day.  

Cops fired a barrage of gas and smoke grenades. Officers wearing body armour were backed by military-style armoured vehicles.

Comforted

Witnesses say a young woman identified as the partner of Tyrone was being comforted by friends when police aggressively tried to disperse them. 

They say representatives from local church groups begged officers to leave her alone.

Footage has emerged of Tyrone lying bleeding and handcuffed on the road beside police.

The video was recorded by Tony Rice, a Ferguson-based protester and activist, who said he was arrested after filming the scene for refusing to move back. He has since been released.

Ferguson erupted in fury after Michael was shot last summer. Yet it is clear that police brutality and racism in the US is intensifying.

A little over halfway through 2015 and 700 police killings of people have already been recorded according to The Counted, a project by the Guardian US website. 

It’s estimated that 4.28 black people of every million are killed by police and 1 out of every 6 victims are unarmed. Last year US cops killed 1,106 people.

Ferguson cop Darren Wilson was cleared of criminal wrongdoing last November by a state grand jury and the US Department of Justice declined to prosecute him for civil rights violations. 

Michael’s family is suing Wilson and the city, alleging they caused the wrongful death of their son. 

His father Michael Brown Snr thanked supporters last weekend before the march for not allowing what happened to his son to be “swept under the carpet”.

 


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