Social media was abuzz late Saturday afternoon as reports began to surface that Mike Brown, a 17-year-old boy, was killed in Ferguson, Missouri near St. Louis. Witnesses say that police shot the unarmed individual at least 10 times.
The shooting occurred around 2:15 pm and immediately drew a crowd of hundreds who came out into the streets yelling obscenities and shouting “kill the police”.
There are no details yet as to why the police were pursuing Brown. Some reports say that Brown possibly stole a Cigarello (also known as a “rello” which is a small type of cigar that is emptied of tobacco and typically filled with marijuana) or candy from a convenience store. Other reports say that he was walking home. The facts involving this situation are still very murky.
UPDATE: According to witness accounts, Brown was walking in the middle of the street before the shooting. He was walking to his grandmother’s house and even saw his grandmother pass him in her car just minutes earlier.
Brown had his hands up in the air when shots were fired. He was expected to begin college on Monday. The officer involved in this incident has been placed on administrative leave.
Another witness told STLToday.com that she saw the teenager with his hands up attempting to flee police after they tried to place him into their vehicle. As he ran from the scene, shots were fired.
As of 8pm on Saturday night, #Ferguson was trending on Twitter in the United States. The St. Louis County NAACP has already announced that they will be conducting their own investigation of what happened.
STLToday, the local area newspaper’s website, faced some social media controversy of their own after sending out the following tweet:
Fatal shooting by Ferguson police prompts mob reaction
MY TAKE: There are still more questions than answers. Most of the accounts we have from social media are very conflicting. The only facts which we are aware of for sure are that police shot a 17-year-old boy at least 10 times and killed him as a result of the conflict.
We still aren’t sure whether this individual threatened police or whether this individual was profiled for no reason. Before everyone causes a raucous, let’s learn the facts of this situation first.
With that being said if this is as bad as I think it is, there is no justification for what happened. Even if this individual was a shoplifter, it doesn’t make sense for police to involve weapons of any type. Why does a cop need to shoot a shoplifter 10 times? Why does a shoplifter even need to be shot once? Does the punishment fit the crime?