Ferguson Protesters Say Police Destroyed Camp, Confiscated Belongings

Ferguson, Missouri has continued to be a hotbed of unrest since the death of Michael Brown at the hands of a Ferguson police officer. The officer, Darren Wilson, has not been charged, and the investigation was recently extended into January, leading protesters in Ferguson to announce their determination to keep marching and calling for justice until Wilson is indicted.

In the meantime, all is not well between the protest group and the Ferguson police force. In the past week, a number of events have pitted the Ferguson PD against the community of protesters and mourners. A memorial site for Michael Brown was burned, with many mourners and protesters feeling that police were responsible. (Ferguson officials say that a candle was the likely culprit.) A march turned ugly, according to the Washington Post, and resulted in arrests when Ferguson’s chief of police tried to join, and was followed by riot police. Ferguson police have been asked by the Justice Department to stop wearing “I Am Darren Wilson” bracelets, according to the New York Times.

Yesterday brought further trouble in Ferguson, according to protesters, with their camp raided and destroyed by Ferguson police, who allowed the few present to gather minimal belongings before they confiscated everything else. The Lost Voices, a community outreach group led by youth, has been leading the protests through Ferguson, voter drives in Ferguson and neighboring areas, and working to keep everything positive, peaceful, and safe.

The video below shows the raid, with Ferguson police gathering tents and other items. Severe strong language warning. The person filming uses a few particularly harsh pieces of profanity, multiple times, as she watches her belongings gathered and taken, and her friends arrested and carried — literally — away. If you are offended by strong language, or are viewing in a location where it would be inappropriate, it’s highly recommended that you mute the video and still watch it.

Yes, you just saw two Ferguson officers lift a protester by one ankle and one arm and carry her sideways to the car. (If you didn’t watch, and want to see just this part, start at two and a half minutes in.)

In the meantime, the Ferguson PD has reinstated former rules against standing still while protesting, and activist Charles Wade, who is in Ferguson and has been helping the group stay fed and housed, says that Ferguson police have also taken all signs and protest materials from the protest site.

All supplies and signs were taken from the protest site at the #Ferguson PD. Smh pic.twitter.com/lSab5UTxzI

— Charles Wade (@akacharleswade) September 27, 2014

Tonight, the Lost Voices plan to stage a protest outside the Ferguson Police Department, complete with drums and other noisemakers.

The grand jury has until January 7 to either return an indictment against Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson or clear him of charges. In the meantime, the Lost Voices are making it clear that they’re not going anywhere and will continue their protests in Ferguson until they see results.

[photo credit: peoplesworld via photopin cc]