More Ferguson Fallout: St. Louis County PD Seeks Looters, NAACP Calls for New Grand Jury
The Ferguson, Mo., area may have to relive the nightmare that began when Michael Brown decided to resist arrest and the hammer on the service weapon of police officer Darren Wilson fell, unleashing weeks of violence that destroyed more than two dozen buildings and impacted countless lives.
As the cleanup in terms of property damage and criminal investigations continues, the NAACP is petitioning for a new grand jury investigation.
But while the drama between legal minds plays out, St. Louis County, Mo., police officers enlisted the aid of the department’s Facebook page Jan. 5 as they launched a manhunt for “dozens of people” who looted a Phillips 66 gas station-convenience store in Dellwood, Mo.
A county police department post said 28 people were caught on camera entering the store during the “night of unrest in Ferguson” Nov. 24, following the grand jury decision that absolved Officer Wilson of all criminal charges in the shooting death of Michael Brown.
Detectives watched on video as looters shattered the front door to get into the store. Once that happened, more than two dozen people streamed into the store and ransacked it.
The whole thing was caught by store surveillance cameras.
The video that St. Louis County Police have released shows a woman trying to get into the store, but the doors are locked. A man walks up, and at first fails to break the glass doors, but returns, breaks the glass, unlocks the door and leaves it open for those who will follow.
The nine-minute video and 28 still photos released by the St. Louis County Police sparked angry posts from people who are following the department’s Facebook page.
“The best way to honor the dead is to live your life as they lived theirs. The Michael Brown legacy lives on,” wrote one follower.
“I am absolutely disgusted at the racist comments and pure ignorance being spewed. Who are you people? Monkeys? Animals?? They all look alike? The people pictured above should be caught and face trial for any involvement they may have in this,” wrote another.
And even one of the vehicles seen in the video came in for criticism from another Facebook page follower: “It's the Monte Carlo's fault for being white.”
Eight businesses in Dellwood were destroyed by arsonists and looters that night and in the days that followed. Insurance adjusters and local officials put the damage estimate at approximately $1.6 million, the St. Louis Business Journal reported.
The wrath of looters was far worse in Ferguson, the epicenter of the post-grand jury outrage. At least 17 buildings were damaged so severely they were declared “unsafe” by local officials.
The damage estimate from the riots was estimated to be $3 million in early December.
And now the NAACP wants the Ferguson area to go through it all again.
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) submitted a letter to Judge Maura McShane, the presiding judge of the 21st Judicial Circuit in Missouri, on Jan. 5 requesting that the court conduct “an appropriate and thorough investigation” of the grand jury proceedings that cleared Wilson.