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Protesters Demand Improved Police Accountability at Downtown Demonstration

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Ray Downs
Protesters rally in front of the Thomas Eagleton Courthouse Tuesday.
Approximately 150 protesters rallied in downtown St. Louis Tuesday afternoon to protest police brutality and announce a set of demands they want enacted by officials at the local and national level.

The demands announced by protesters centered largely on police reform and accountability. But they also included several direct demands related to the investigation of the Michael Brown shooting, including the "immediate arrest" of Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who fatally shot the eighteen-year-old August 9.

"We are going to bring that gunman to justice, and I mean that," said rapper Tef Poe, a Riverfront Times contributor and a constant presence at the Ferguson protests since they began the day after the Brown shooting.

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Cop in Ferguson Tweets Lies to Justify Tear-Gassing Protesters in Their Own Back Yard

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Danny Wicentowski
One of the many tear-gas canisters fired on Ferguson this month.
A Velda City police officer who has been part of the militarized police apparatus holding down operations on West Florissant Avenue is spreading lies about Ferguson protesters online.

Sergeant Mike Weston, going by the handle "officeranon2" on Twitter, engaged with users of the social-media network about a tear-gas attack by St. Louis County police on protesters in their own back yard on Monday, August 11. In the conversation, a Twitter user wanted to know why police would fire tear gas at people on their own property. Weston tells them it's because protesters were firing guns from their back yard. But that's not true, as evidenced in the video below.

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Ferguson Residents React to Dellwood Market Looting, Militarized Police Presence

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Ray Downs
The St. Louis County Police Department.
Just a few hours before the Dellwood Market on Chambers Street in Ferguson was looted Sunday night, Lindsey Johnson was there to buy some groceries. When she saw people rushing in and out of the small store on Chambers Street with stolen goods in their arms, it hurt.

"We know the people who own that store," Johnson told Daily RFT. "We have relationships with them. They're good people."

The ransacking of the grocery store began around midnight, and reports say the place was also set on fire. Gunshots were fired, and a photo of a bullet lodged into the front door was shared on Twitter by KMOV (Channel 4) photographer Adam Randall.

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Nun Threatened with Arrest in Ferguson; Residents Bemoan Police Presence

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Ray Downs
Sister Mary is threatened with arrest when asking police for an ambulance.
The unrest in Ferguson is largely being portrayed as a racial clash between the town's African American community and a largely white police force. And it pretty much is. But even a white-haired white lady can afoul of the increasingly militarized police presence in Ferguson.

Yesterday Daily RFT was on hand when an elderly white nun was threatened with arrest for coming too close to a police line.

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Police in Ferguson Fire Tear Gas on Protesters Standing in Their Own Backyard

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Ray Downs
Resients angry after getting tear-gassed on own property.
Last night police in riot gear marched down West Florissant Avenue, ordering people to leave the area and firing tear gas onto the streets. Police even fired tear gas into the backyard of a home where several people held their "hands up" in what's become a symbol of protest over the shooting of Michael Brown.

Daily RFT caught the melee on video.

The incident occurred after police had already evacuated nearly everybody on West Florissant Avenue. Between tear gas firings, a police officer bellowed "go home" into a loudspeaker. It took about an hour, but nearly everybody within vicinity of the police left the streets.

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After Night of Looting in Ferguson, Protesters March Looking for Answers

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Photos by Mitch Ryals
Davion Lorich asks police officers if they feel bad about what happened.
By 9:30 a.m. Monday, with the smoke and violence of last night's looting and riots gone, a crowd of some 50 demonstrators arrived in front of Ferguson's police and fire departments to continue the protests over the death of Michael Brown.

Meru Muad'Dib of Bellefontaine Neighbors and Camelia Murphy of Pagedale stood directly across from Vincenzo's Restaurant where officers in riot gear waited.

"Those were different people out there last night," Muad'Dib said. "They took advantage of the situation. Don't commit crimes in the name of Mike Brown," he pleaded.

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Peaceful Protest for Mike Brown Before Riot Police and Looting Takes Over

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Ray Downs
Protesters with "hands up."
On Sunday night in Ferguson, protesters held a vigil for Michael Brown, the unarmed eighteen-year-old who was gunned down by a police officer for reasons that are still unclear. The event started out peacefully, with many people holding signs and candles as they faced hundreds of cops in riot gear. But as the night wore on, vigil candle lights gave way to smashed windows.

At around 8 p.m. approximately 500 people marched from the Canfield Green apartment complex where Brown was fatally shot to a corner near the intersection of W. Florissant and Ferguson avenues. The protesters were met by dozens of police carrying shields and batons. Several cops wore gas masks.

See also:
- Family of Michael Brown, Teenager Shot to Death By Ferguson Police, Talks About His Life

- Ferguson Riots: North County Business Owners (Some Armed) Survey the Damage
- Police in Ferguson Fire Tear Gas on Protesters Standing in Their Own Backyard


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FBI Agent Who Works on Child Porn Task Force Charged with Choking 13-Year-Old Boy

Categories: Police

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FBI
An FBI agent who works with the Boone County Sheriff's Department Cyber Crimes Task Force against child porn is charged with choking a thirteen-year-old boy unconscious.

Special agent Scott Armstrong, 37, pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor third-degree assault charges during an arraignment in June and will appear in court on July 29.

According to the Callaway County police department, the incident occurred at Armstrong's residence at around midnight on March 1. In a probable cause statement, the thirteen-year-old claims Armstrong strangled him with a chokehold until "temporarily losing consciousness."

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Is the St. Louis Metro Police Department Hiding a Drug Task Force?

Categories: Drugs, Police

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St. Louis Metro Police/Facebook
The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department received $200,000 in grant funding for a drug task force that they say does not exist.

That might sound strange, but city officials tell Aaron Malin, a researcher for Show-Me Cannabis, the marijuana reform group, that they don't know about any so-called "drug task force." And that's despite several government records showing that grant money has been awarded to the non-existent drug task force and other records that tally the number of arrests the unit has made. These records were obtained by Malin via Missouri Sunshine requests.

Malin tells Daily RFT that he believes there can only be two explanations.

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Inspired by Edward Snowden, Lawmakers Want Missouri to Stand Against NSA Surveillance

Categories: Police, Politics

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David Drexler/Wikimedia
The "Snowden effect" has hit the Show-Me State, and two state lawmakers hope the feds will take notice.

Sen. Rob Schaaf and Rep. Paul Curtman, both Republicans, have added a ballot to the August 5 primary that will allow Missourians to vote on whether the government shall be allowed to access their electronic communications without a search warrant.

The question on the ballot reflects a desire to modernize the language of the Fourth Amendment, which protects against certain searches and seizures in one's home, but not necessarily against one's digital footprint. Here's what voters will be asked:

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