The tension in a St. Louis suburb following the shooting of an unarmed African-American teenager by a police officer was thrown into stark relief Sunday night in a video captured by CNN of a police officer yelling a derogatory phrase at protesters.
"Bring it, all you fucking animals! Bring it!" the officer said in the exchange.
Watch the CNN segment above.
On Saturday, Michael Brown, 18, was shot by a police officer in Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis. The Ferguson Police Department has asserted that Brown assaulted the officer, whose name has not yet been released. Eyewitnesses, however, have disputed that claim and said Brown was killed while attempting to surrender or flee.
"Right now, the small group of people are creating a huge mess," Ferguson Mayor James Knowles (R) told KTVI-TV in St. Louis. "Contributing to the unrest that is going on is not going to help ... We're only hurting ourselves, only hurting our community, hurting our neighbors. There's nothing productive from this."
Protesters have been raising their hands and chanting, "Hands up, don't shoot." "We are Michael Brown," "No justice, no peace" and "Killer cops have got to go" have also been frequent refrains at the marches.
The community anger in Ferguson appears to have been latent for quite some time in the city, which has mostly African-American residents but very few African-American public officials. According to the Los Angeles Times, "Ferguson’s police chief and mayor are white. Of the six City Council members, one is black. The local school board has six white members and one Latino. Of the 53 commissioned officers on the police force, three are black, said Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson."
Blacks are also disproportionately pulled over by police in Ferguson. Whites make up about a third of Ferguson's population but accounted for just 12.7 percent of the stops by Ferguson police. Last year, African-Americans made up 93 percent of the arrests following car stops, even though whites were more likely to have contraband.
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