August 10, 2014

Anonymous has stepped into the Ferguson, Missouri police shooting of a young unarmed black man and they have done so with firm resolve.

In their video above, they demand that elected representatives for that area introduce legislation defining clear standards of conduct for police in situations like the one that resulted in the shooting of Mike Brown Saturday.

They further state that if this demand isn't met, they will hack into police department databases and publish confidential data they obtain.

Whether one agrees or disagrees with Anonymous' operating tactics, what they're asking for is not outrageous. There is a point where a line in the sand is needed, and where everyone should stop pretending the police are always right and the people are always wrong. That right/wrong view seems to be the one that prevails when black or brown people are the ones protesting in the street.

That kid lay in the street for hours while they beefed up their militarized presence in Ferguson, as if to invite violence. I'm not sure I'm buying the "official account" of how Brown came to be shot eight times, either. If he allegedly attacked the cop sitting in the car, how did he come to fall 35 feet away while the cop never got out of the car?

As a writer, it's difficult to balance a desire not to slam police, who have a difficult and demanding job against sympathy for an unarmed kid dead in the street. In some cases, criticism just lives in the situation. This is one of those times.

Ferguson's elected officials should take Anonymous' demands seriously.

(As a side note, Twitter killed the #OpFerguson hashtag and suspended the @OpFerguson account. I'm sure glad they believe in free speech. I guess for them that's only for conservatives.)

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