A group of Michael Brown verdict protesters denied causing a hit-and-run car crash in Ferguson late Thursday night as they were attempting to block the road. The group of about 25 people had just left the Michael Brown memorial site where the teen was shot dead by police officer Darren Wilson. They were blocking one lane of traffic and were moving to block the other lane when a car struck a utility pole next to them.
Numerous live feeds being broadcast at the time of the accident show that the Michael Brown verdict protesters were in one lane of the road walking calmly but still in the way, when a small blue car crashed with a loud smash near them, causing the air bag to deploy. One feed recorded only the sound of the accident and the aftermath. Just before the car crashed, one protesters on a bull horn directed the group to start blocking the road and several people were walking toward the lane of oncoming traffic.
Another livestream feed taken from the opposite side of the street clearly shows that the car crash happened as the Michael Brown protesters approached the lane of oncoming traffic. One car in the two-lane road swerved to the right to avoid the protesters, forcing the car next to them to also swerve — and it then hit the utility pole. The car that forced the other vehicle into the utility pole sped off without checking on the other driver.
After the accident, the group angrily told reporters to stop filming and taking photographs of the accident, fearing they would be blamed. They repeatedly denied causing the accident to journalists at the scene.
Michael Brown verdict protesters have been active in using livestream video to both document their protests and to keep the shooting death of the teenage boy alive, which they consider to have been unwarranted. Some livestreamers from the Ferguson area have over 25,000 subscribers to their channels.
On the other side of Ferguson, at the same time as the car crash, a second group rallying for justice for Michael Brown blocked traffic on and off for hours. The typical — almost nightly — ritual has ramped up in recent days as the verdict for the officer in the Michael Brown case nears.
The group, which sometimes became threatening to passing motorists, also began to call for Darren Wilson’s death for shooting Michael Brown. The verdict of the grand jury, which will decide if the case goes to trial, is expected sometime this weekend.
According to the Daily Beast, Michael Brown verdict protesters in front of the police station also harassed African-American police officers.
“But you ain’t doing the right thing! You out here supporting a killer! They takin’ your sons!” reported the Beast.
Ahead of the Michael Brown verdict, the National Guard is also expected to make an appearance at 45 locations throughout the city for extra protection.
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