New Witness, New Video in Michael Brown Shooting

New Witness, New Video in Michael Brown Shooting

A new witness to Michael Brown’s shooting has emerged—and she’s also got new amateur video from Saturday in Ferguson. Her account of what happened corroborates what Dorian Johnson says he saw on Saturday.

Tiffany Mitchell told KMOV News 4 that she saw an officer inside a police vehicle wrestling with Brown through the car’s window before a shot rang out. That’s when she says that Brown began running away. Mitchell says the officer fired again and Brown raised his hands in the air before being fired upon until he was killed.

“The cop just continues walk up on him and shoot him until he goes all the way down,” she recalls. Mitchell also has new video, taken from her cell phone.

Mitchell has been dealing with the trauma of witnessing Brown’s shooting and says that she cries herself to sleep as a result of what she saw. 

Chaos in Ferguson, New Michael Jackson Video and More Salt for a Healthy Heart

Chaos in Ferguson, New Michael Jackson Video and More Salt for a Healthy Heart

Here’s some of what I’m reading up on this morning:

  • A new app called Spring will supposedly make online shopping more fun and beautiful. 
  • The massive arapaima, an Amazonian fish that can weight up to 500 pounds, may soon go extinct due to overfishing. 
TAGS: Morning Rush

Police Dispatch Tapes From Michael Brown’s Shooting

Police Dispatch Tapes From Michael Brown's Shooting

Anonymous has obtained and released St. Louis police dispatch audio from the day Michael Brown was shot and killed by a Ferguson Police Department officer. The audio is largely unedited and contains police codes throughout the recording. 

It appears that Ferguson police called for additional cars, officers and K-9s from different precincts to control crowds—and waited several hours before calling in an ambulance for the 18-year-old Brown. His body lay on the ground for hours, uncovered before it was attended to. 

Following Ferguson: What’s Being Said Today

Following Ferguson: What's Being Said Today

Referring to his late but hard-won graduation this summer, one of Michael Brown’s high school teachers told the Washington Post, “In the last two months, man, Mike was there every doggone day and he was giving it his full effort.” In the past 24 hours, more details are filtering out about the life of 18-year-old Brown, cut down in Ferguson, Missouri, by a still unreleased number of police-issue bullets. Below, here’s today’s wrap-up of reporting or commentary that helps cut through the noise of this national story (or, that just makes me think). Let’s go.

“We don’t need to keep talking about [Mike Brown’s] college plans to communicate that his killing was dead wrong.” Or do we? Would Ferguson have protested under similarly suspicious shooting circumstances for a more questionable kid? Would Ferguson be national news if Brown wasn’t a “gentle giant?” Whatever your position on the need for victims to be innocent in order to get justice, check out parent Jasmine Banks’s provocative essay.

Writing for, ProPublica’s Nikole Hannah-Jones calls out national media for overlooking critical details in Ferguson and hewing to the official police version of events last Saturday. “The reliance on law enforcement to provide the official record of a shooting it was involved in is highly problematic,” she says. “Over and over again, we’ve seen the first reports on police shootings contain errors or just be plain wrong. For instance, in the July death of Eric Garner in New York, an internal police report did not mention the chokehold used on Garner and said that Garner was not in ‘great distress.’”

Why did Ferguson explode this weekend? The definitive account is still a ways off. But in the search for answers, it appears that local concerns about racial profiling, residential segregation, police diversity and more are being explored with a new intensity and purpose.

And finally, in “Why you’ve been seeing young kids at Ferguson crime scenes,” Post-Dispatch reporter Aisha Sultan gives voice to families in the neighborhood.

As always, feel free to add to this list. See you back here tomorrow.

10 Tweets: Munitions in Ferguson

10 Tweets: Munitions in Ferguson

It’s getting hard to distinguish Ferguson, Missouri, from a war zone these days—a war in which one side has its arms up in the air with signs demanding justice for Michael Brown, while the other is armed with more conventional weapons.

Local police, backed by other authorities, roam the streets in tanks and armored trucks, and have been dispersing crowds with tear gas and rubber bullets. Every morning, residents and journalists take to Twitter to post photos of the canisters, magazines and bullets left behind from the previous nights:

A volunteer cleans up rubber bullets from the street


Wooden batons used to disperse protestors


Tear gas canister, magazine and rubber bullets


Another tear gas canister and more rubber bullets


And more rubber bullets


Unknown munition


And even more rubber bullets


Peppershots, filled with hot chili powder and designed to
burst on impact 
to irritate the nose, eyes and throat.


Rubber bullet magazine


And, of course, even more rubber bullets

Will Demanding Justice for Mike Brown Land You a Visit from the FBI?

Will Demanding Justice for Mike Brown Land You a Visit from the FBI?

An unnamed caller recorded himself placing a phone call to the publically listed phone number for the Ferguson Police Department, demanding justice for Mike Brown. The person who answers the phone—in all likelihood a Ferguson police officer—sarcastically answers that “justice isn’t here right now” before threatening to show up at the caller’s home with the FBI. 

Trial Underway for North Carolina Sheriff Accused of Targeting Hispanic Drivers

Trial Underway for North Carolina Sheriff Accused of Targeting Hispanic Drivers

A non-jury federal trial began yesterday in the case of a North Carolina sheriff accused of jailing Latino drivers in order to boost deportations, the Justice Department says. Two retired deputies have already testifed that Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson ordered them in 2007 to 2008 to lock up Latino drivers for traffic violations instead of issuing citations. One reportedly spoke to investigators because, according to the AP, “he worried the sheriff’s priorities would be adopted by young law officers.”

Johnson, a Republican, is running unopposed for a fourth four-year term in November. His defense says the Justice Department will not be able to prove a pattern of racial profiling.

(h/t The Guardian)

No Fly Zone Lifted in Ferguson

No Fly Zone Lifted in Ferguson

Journalists covering the unrest in Ferguson following the killing of Michael Brown have warned that authorities there are preventing them from doing their jobs. The issue became more concerning when Ashon Crawley, a professor and writer, tweeted that the Federal Aviation Administration had designated the airspace over Ferguson a restricted area:

Authorities claim the move was prompted by shots fired at a police helicopter on Sunday—and restricting flights would keep police safe. But that didn’t ease the fact that media helicopters were also banned from flying over Ferguson through Monday.

But, according to the Lambert-St. Louis Airport’s Twitter account, the no fly zone has been lifted:

Police and media helicopters have presumably resumed their flights. 

Clashes Continue in Ferguson, Apple’s ‘Diversity’ and Baby Panda Triplets

Clashes Continue in Ferguson, Apple's 'Diversity' and Baby Panda Triplets

Here’s some of what I’m reading about this morning: 

TAGS: Morning Rush

Understanding What’s Happening in Ferguson

Understanding What's Happening in Ferguson

If you’re catching up on the shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown by a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer, the day’s must-read is this exclusive Trymaine Lee interview with Brown’s friend. It describes 22-year-old Dorian Johnson’s last image of Brown. With police brutality and the apparent cheapness of black life making national news again, reaction and commentary are coming at a furious clip. Here are a few items to guide you through the noise.

As my colleague Jamilah King wrote yesterday, Michael Brown’s shooting did not occur in a vacuum. Besides racial profiling, police shootings and lack of transparency surrounding their investigation has for the past few years been a subject of local concern. According to a January 2012 Post-Dispatch analysis, “St. Louis officers fire their guns at a higher rate than those in many other metropolitan forces…. And unlike many other departments, St. Louis has no third party checking the process.” 

What’s up with the PD’s tank-like vehicles and full-on riot gear? Local police departments all over the country, according to a June New York Times article, have been tricking themselves out with surplus Iraq and Afghanistan war gear, blurring the line between police officer and soldier. Welcome to the new normal.

Creative push-back against mainstream media portrayals of young black men as thugs or criminals came via trending hashtag #IfTheyGunnedMeDown. But see, too, Journal-ism’s interview with a top Post-Dispatch editor concerning newsroom diversity. Ferguson’s PD may be overwhelmingly white—but so too are area newsrooms. It raises questions about local media’s responsibility to not only cover the accretion of abuses leading up to Brown’s death but to measure and track the community’s growing unrest. 

Over on The South Lawn blog, guest columnist S. Lorén Trull gets personal and responds to one popular question asked after suspicious police shootings: why don’t victims just comply?

And finally, on Medium, organizer Melissa Byrne explains, “How the [Ferguson] police are doing everything wrong and how it’s dangerous for everyone.” Be sure to check the solutions that round out Byrne’s 7-point don’t list, including:

Sending in the dogs. On the evening of the murder of Mike Brown, the police responded to the first wave of community anger and protest with German Shepherds. First, for historical reasons it is wrong for white police officers to show up in a predominately black community with attack dogs at a protest. Secondly, over policing creates an environment where anger accelerates.

Dressing up in riot gear. You don’t wear your party shoes if you don’t want to dance. When the police dress up in their riot gear and plastic shields, they are sending the message that they are ready to fight the crowd. 

Those links should get you started. Feel free to add your own must-reads. See you back here tomorrow.

Ferguson Police Won’t Release Name of Officer that Killed Michael Brown

Ferguson Police Won't Release Name of Officer that Killed Michael Brown

Protestors in Ferguson, Missouri, denouncing Michael Brown’s death at the hands of a police officer have made requests. A group known as The Ad Hoc Committee for Justice on Behalf of Michael Brown has handed out flyers with four demands:

  1. The officer involved in the shooting death of Michael Brown be IMMEDIATELY identified.
  2. The same officer should be immediately fired and charged with murder.
  3. The Ferguson Police Department “Protocol Handbook” be distributed throughout the Ferguson community.
  4. The racial composition of the Ferguson Police Department should reflect the racial demographics of the community.

It’s unclear if the officer involved in the shooting will be terminated or charged, if the department’s handbook will be made available to the public, or if police department employees will engage in any meaningful discussions about race. But the first demand, to know the name of the officer who killed Brown, seems doable.

Ferguson’s police chief, Thomas Jackson, promised reporters that his office would release the name of the officer that killed 18-year-old Michael Brown by noon local time on Tuesday. Apparently he’s changed his mind. Time reports that, citing safety concerns, officer Timothy Zoll says the department is declining to make the officer’s name public:

“A lot of threats against the officer were made on Twitter, Facebook, all social media,” Zoll said. “We are protecting the officer’s safety by not releasing the name.”

Time adds that St. Louis police says they “will not ever release the name of the police officer,” because doing so is at Ferguson’s discretion. 

Police, often roaming in tanks and armored trucks with various weapons, have made dozens of arrests in Ferguson since Saturday, the day Michael Brown was killed. News of the police department’s refusal to release the officer’s name to the public could lead to more unrest. 

Witness to Michael Brown’s Killing Explains What He Saw

Witness to Michael Brown's Killing Explains What He Saw

Dorian Johnson was walking down the middle of the street in Ferguson, Missouri, with his friend Michael Brown on Saturday—just moments before Brown was shot and killed by a still unnamed police officer. Johnson says that police officer began cursing at them and emerged from the car with his weapon drawn. He says he remembers no fewer than seven shots fired. He recalls that Brown’s hands were in the air as the officer fired.

MSNBC is reporting that Johnson’s attorney, Freeman Bosley, says that police declined the opportunity to speak with Johnson during their investigation. In this video, Johnson recounts the violence he encountered the day his friend Mike Brown lost his life.

10 Social Media Shares About the Horrors in Ferguson

10 Social Media Shares About the Horrors in Ferguson

Tensions remain high in Ferguson, Missouri, following the killing of 18-year-old Mike Brown Saturday—and the F.B.I. has now opened a civil rights investigation into Brown’s death.

Protests are expected to continue today in Ferguson today, as local residents and the press take to social media to chronicle the police department’s massive show of force. Officers in riot gear, sometimes riding massive armored trucks through the streets and armed with what appear to be M-16s, have been using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protestors. One local resident also captured the police pulling a pregnant woman out of a car and slamming her facedown on the ground.

Here are 10 posts from Twitter, Instagram and Vine that illustrate some of the horrors in Ferguson:

Police began patrolling streets in Lenco armored trucks on Saturday, the day Brown was killed.


By Monday, gas-masked officers were screaming, “Get the fuck out of here!”


Officers in traffic. 


Tear gas and weapons. 


Officer pointing a weapon into a yard. 

Additional police vehicles entering Ferguson. 



Man hit by rubber bullet taken in ambulance gurney. 


26-year-old Steve Walsh says he was shot by a wood pellet. 


Shot by rubber bullet directly between the eyes.

Pregnant woman screaming, “I’m six months pregnant, I cannot lay on my stomach!” after officers slam her facedown on the ground.  

F.B.I. Opens Inquiry Into Ferguson, WHO Approves Ebola Drugs and Detroit Flooding

F.B.I. Opens Inquiry Into Ferguson, WHO Approves Ebola Drugs and Detroit Flooding

Here’s what I’m reading up on this morning:

  • More than two months after a crash that killed his friend, Tracy Morgan is still recovering
TAGS: Morning Rush

Grandmother Assaulted by CHP Officer Breaks Silence

Grandmother Assaulted by CHP Officer Breaks Silence

In a video that went viral in July, a white California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer Daniel L. Andrew, is seen chasing, knocking down, straddling and repeatedly pummeling a black woman on the side of a freeway. That woman, 51-year-old grandmother Marlene Pinnock, is now speaking out to media in Los Angeles. 

In an interview with ABC-7, Pinnock she was walking down a Los Angeles freeway when Andrew assaulted her. She says that she has no idea why Andrew assaulted her. Pinnock is still recovering from the beating—she’s still in pain from swelling and slurs her speech.

The CHP, which says it’s prioritizing the investigation into Pinnock’s beating, refused to name the officer involved, but has taken him off patrol. A federal civil rights lawsuit names him as Daniel Andrews. 

Atlanta Schools Cheating Trial Begins

Atlanta Schools Cheating Trial Begins

Starting today, a dozen Atlanta Public Schools educators will face trial over whether they turned to cheating on their students’ tests in order to win bonuses and to meet federal and state education standards. Former principals, school administrators, teachers and testing staff have been charged with racketeering, and some have been accused of lying to state investigators and swaying witnesses, AP reported. 

The 12 who face trial today are just a fraction of the nearly three dozen educators who were indicted in a massive cheating scandal which rocked the nation, and the more than 200 teachers and principals that Georgia state investigators found involved in the cheating scandal. In 2011, Georgia investigators confirmed teacher cheating on student tests dating back to 2005 at 44 of 56 Atlanta Public Schools they investigated.

The trial could last months, Reuters reported.

Police Officer Calls Ferguson Protestors ‘Animals’

Police Officer Calls Ferguson Protestors 'Animals'

As Jamilah King explains, Michael Brown’s death at the hands of police officers isn’t an isolated incident in Ferguson, Missouri—where black residents face disproportionate stops, searches and arrests. The community has come out into the streets in protest to Brown’s killing, but it seems authorities don’t yet have a basic understanding about the outrage residents are feeling.

In a video report posted on CNN, a local police officer is heard yelling at protestors, “Bring it, all you fucking animals! Bring it!” You can hear it in the video above, with the expletive censored out, at 00:15. Ferguson’s mayor James Knowles tells CNN, “The officers did their best. They’re only human.”

Another protest is scheduled this morning outside of the Ferguson Police Department. 

Michael Brown’s Death Didn’t Happen in a Vacuum

Michael Brown's Death Didn't Happen in a Vacuum

Michael Brown should be starting freshman orientation at Vatterott College today. Instead, his body is laying in a St. Louis-area morgue pending an investigation into what drove a police officer to shoot and kill the unarmed 18-year-old on Saturday.

Residents of Ferguson, Missouri, the black St. Louis suburb where Brown lived and died, confronted police officers on Sunday in a scene that’s since been described by the national media as one that quickly devolved into “looting.” In photos, black residents stood in front of police with their hands up to show that they were unarmed. They chanted the slogans we’ve all become too used to over the years: “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!” Brown’s stepfather, Louis Head, carried a message scrawled in sharpie on a piece of cardboard: “Ferguson Police Just Executed My Unarmed Son!!!”


The St. Louis Post Dispatch’s editorial board unearthed some of the embers that lit Sunday’s fire. “Michael Brown didn’t get due process,” they wrote. “The still unnamed police officer who shot the 18-year-old black teenager dead in Ferguson will get plenty of it.”

And you can quantify that anger. Here’s more from the editorial board:

Last year, for the 11th time in the 14 years that data has been collected, the disparity index that measures potential racial profiling by law enforcement in the state got worse. Black Missourians were 66 percent more likely in 2013 to be stopped by police, and blacks and Hispanics were both more likely to be searched, even though the likelihood of finding contraband was higher among whites.

Every year these numbers come out to little fanfare, in part because there isn’t enough political will to do the further study to break them down by precincts and individual officers to determine whether there is a cultural or training problem in entire departments or just a few rogue, racist cops who need to find another line of work.


…In Ferguson, the city where Michael died, the police in 2013 pulled over blacks at a 37 percent higher rate than whites compared to their relative populations. Black drivers were twice as likely to be searched and twice as likely to be arrested compared to white drivers.

In January, the local chapter of the NAACP filed a civil rights complaint against the St. Louis County police, alleging that “racism is rampant in the department’s hiring, firing and discipline.” Now, NAACP leaders and local residents are asking that the FBI take over the investigation into Brown’s death. They don’t trust that justice, however it’s defined at this point, will be served.

As he was readying for college orientation last week, Brown posted one last message on Facebook: “if i leave this earth today,” he wrote to a friend, “atleast youll know i care about others more then i cared about my damn self.”

The ensuing days and months will who just how much America cared about him. 

Scenes from Sunday’s protests in Ferguson, Missouri:

brown1_081114.jpgBlack residents in Ferguson, Missouri, protest Michael Brown’s shooting. Photo from @SunnyHostin

brown3_081114.jpgResidents march through the streets of Ferguson. Photo from @Lnonblonde

brown5_081114.jpgPhoto from @AntonioFrench

brown6_081114.jpgCrowd at Ferguson Police Headquarters. Photo from @MichaelCalhoun 

Outrage Over Killing of Unarmed Teen, Ebola Exposure Quarantine in North Carolina and Supermoon

Outrage Over Killing of Unarmed Teen, Ebola Exposure Quarantine in North Carolina and Supermoon

Here’s what I’m reading up on this morning: 

  • Ferguson, Missouri’s black community holds vigil after police shoot and kill unarmed teen Mike Brown.
  • Tensions are increasing between Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and the Obama administration. 
  • U.S. Missionaries returning from West Africa who may have been exposed to Ebola are being quarantined in Charlotte, North Carolina. 
TAGS: Morning Rush

Black Female Academic On Being Erased by President Obama

Black Female Academic On Being Erased by President Obama

What is it for an academic to launch a theory with 25 years of staying power but rarely get credit for its creation? — Signithia Fordham, a professor at the University of Rochester in New York, wrote a personal essay this week explaining how she makes sense of her intellectual erasure. In late July, President Obama reached into a familiar grab bag for Fordham’s controversial “acting white” theory during a My Brother’s Keeper announcement held at a Washington, D.C. public school. The 1986 theory has since been debunked according to the Washington Post, but it remains popular. Fordham’s essay, which doesn’t address the theory itself, is poignant. The erasure of black and Latina girls after all is the key criticism being leveled at Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative aimed at young men and boys of color.

From Fordham:

Out of view of this spirited and public debate [about “acting white”], my phone and email inboxes filled to capacity with calls and notes from colleagues and friends who were dismayed that my work was being discussed—again without me.

The critical question I seek an answer to affects, not just me, but also many others: Are black women ignored by American society? Are we compelled to do the imporant labor for others to consume, elaborate, embellish, and dismiss?

Does Fordham have a point?


(h/t Race and Beyond blog, CAP)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215