The DoJ warned Ferguson Police not to release the video of an alleged robbery yesterday in their attempts to avoid taking responsibility for their previous inaction after one of their officers shot and killed Mike Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old teenager, but they did it anyway.
Evan Pérez, who covers justice and national security for CNN, tweeted:
DoJ opposed #Ferguson cops releasing robbery video, citing concern of inflaming tensions, law enf ofcl says; cops did it anyway
— Evan Pérez (@evanperez) August 16, 2014
The moment Ferguson Police released the video, claiming that they had received multiple freedom of information requests, tensions reared again.
The Ferguson Police Chief referenced the robbery when he finally revealed the name of the officer who shot and killed Brown, insinuating it was related to the killing. Justin Baragona reported from the scene:
On Saturday afternoon, Wilson shot Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black male, multiple times. Eyewitness accounts claim that the officer was the aggressor and killed Brown despite Brown placing his hands in the air and surrendering. It also appears that this tragic murder evolved from the officer wanting Brown and his friend to move from the street to the sidewalk.
This is the George Zimmerman playbook of smearing the dead victim, especially given that the police officer who shot and killed Mike Brown did not suspect him of the alleged theft at the time of his stop. The Ferguson police are so obsessed with justifying the shooting of an unarmed African-American teenager that they intentionally fanned the flames of violence by releasing the video in such a way that it was guaranteed to raise tensions.
Zimmerman got away with shooting and killing unarmed teen Trayvon Martin by smearing the victim. The Ferguson police are following the same plan. The fact that the officer who shot Michael Brown didn’t know that he was a suspect in a robbery undercuts the police attempts to sell the story that Brown deserved to be shot and killed.
The Department of Justice knew what would happen if that video was released. Anyone with an ounce of common sense knew what was likely to happen when the video was released. The behavior of the police department continues to confirm that one of the primary obstacles blocking the defusing of this situation remains the Ferguson Police.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.