Tef Poe On Ferguson, His Hometown: "The Mike Brown Rebellion Has Begun"

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Steve Truesdell
A protester in Ferguson calls for justice and peace.
Editor: Tef Poe is an artist from the St. Louis area. Through powerful imagery and complicated honesty, he has earned a reputation as one of the best rappers telling the story of St. Louis, which is about much more than one place. Poe has been featured in music publications such as XXL and Urb Magazine. His project The Hero Killer was released on January 2 and was followed up this year by a full-length with DJ Burn One entitled Cheer For the Villain. Follow him on twitter @tefpoe. Get The Hero Killer here.

My body is fatigued as I type this. At this point I have been out in the streets of north county for what feels like an eternity. I am confused and dazed by what has taken place in my city. We have been tear gassed and shot at with rubber bullets in a scene that resembles communist Russia more than an American metropolis. Mike Brown was shot down like a dog in the street, and the Ferguson police refuse to give us answers. His killer remains free, uncharged and shielded by the badge. An overwhelming amount of pressure has been placed on the Ferguson Police Department, yet virtually nothing has happened. We've all watched Brown's parents grieve.

See also: Our full coverage on Mike Brown's case and the unrest in Ferguson

We have protested for justice and encountered a cruelty that resembles the brutality of the Jim Crow demonstrations in the 1960s. President Obama gave an address recently, and even he tacitly endorsed this treatment by referring to us as "violent protesters." I have seen men and women, both black and white, beaten and rounded up like cattle. I've seen officers forcefully push the barrels of assault rifles into the faces of the people they have sworn to protect. A bold, trigger-happy army occupying the streets of Ferguson. This is not a normal police force. This is a completely militarized group of wild cowboys. They lack discipline and have even aimed their guns at the media.

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Steve Truesdell
I feel like we are living in a third-world country. Our constitutional rights have been trashed, deleted, burned, abolished and thrown out the window. I have never witnessed such well-coordinated, lawless behavior by law enforcement. I have observed the police tear gassing innocent children. Every entrance of our neighborhood streets were barricaded. When we peacefully pushed back, they turned up the firepower. We are painted in the media as savages.

The truth is: The Ferguson police killed Mike Brown, not us.

I grew up on the same streets that Mike Brown walked. Our stories are very similar. I was once a young, black north-county teen with dreams of getting involved in the music industry. I have often been stopped by the police simply for being black.

I believe Mike Brown died because he was a black male walking in Ferguson at the wrong place and time. Now, his blood has become the motivation for a full-bloom revolution. A new civil-rights movement has been birthed by the constant social-media attention his demise has received.

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Steve Truesdell
The happenings of the last two weeks have left me forever changed. I feel as if we, black people, are not considered American whatsoever. The police have demonstrated a willingness to shoot us with reckless abandon. The Ferguson PD has completely lost the trust of the people. Its officers have combined forces with nearly every other police precinct in the city to guard themselves from the displeasure of the community.

We have been shot at for nothing by white men who are twice our age and carrying assault rifles. There are black men twice our age standing on the sidelines, watching it all play out. Armored vehicles which closely resemble tanks have been stationed five minutes from my parents' house. The best political organizers in the world have flown to Missouri to fight this monster. None of us can say we have ever witnessed anything quite like this.

I have never felt this range of emotions before. Out of pure anger and frustration I have cried twice, but now I have gotten to a point where the tears can no longer be summoned. Still, these feelings will reside within me for the rest of my life.

Continue to page two for more.


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186 comments
Tim Corkill
Tim Corkill

If you remember correct the revolutionaries gave us our freedom...like as in we the people...

Julia West
Julia West

What can we do to help the city heal? That's a sincere question.

John Lewis
John Lewis

They left ferguson alone for one night the looting picked back up and the next day people were begging the police to come back..Mike brown assaulted the police officer and went for his gun..even though I am a white man I grew up in z3rd district St. Louis have had my head bounced off of police cars and been stepped on kicked and punched by the police more then once but I had a big mouth..next every you man in St. Louis knows if you go for a cops gun you better get is and shoot him because if you don't he is going to shoot you.when the man with the gun and the badge gives you an order follow it!, if it unjust get a lawyer!! Looting and riots are not the answer!

Lera Matzen
Lera Matzen

Most of the protesters weren't even from Ferguson. A lot of them were from other states. They were there specifically to cause trouble and chaos. They didn't even care about a young man who was dead.

Lera Matzen
Lera Matzen

Liberals are only tolerant as long as you agree with them. And they see imagined bigots everywhere. They have a mental disorder.

Lera Matzen
Lera Matzen

The first amendment refers to the right to peaceably assemble. It doesn't cover looting and mayhem.

Lera Matzen
Lera Matzen

Are we talking about the protesters or looters?

Lera Matzen
Lera Matzen

Thank you for the levity, Cest. You're pretty funny. But I still say liberalism is a mental disease.

Stephanie Mondaine
Stephanie Mondaine

Tim Corkill feel free to exit if you don't support our military and Veterans.

Stephanie Mondaine
Stephanie Mondaine

The Ferguson police department is in need of some serious overhauling as well. I'd start with the lying Chief.

Douglas Ryan Heberer
Douglas Ryan Heberer

I was just simply stating the fact that many have fought and died to give you the right to do what you are doing right now. You have the right to express your own opinions because of that sacrifice.

Tim Corkill
Tim Corkill

Hitler also wanted alot of personal recognition and unnecessary respect...He was doing good things right?

Douglas Ryan Heberer
Douglas Ryan Heberer

Please be sure to thank a veteran for giving you the right to free speech, allowing you to make comments such as these.

Darla Cook
Darla Cook

So Tef Poe is okay with the looting, the arson? Didn't see his rear on the street trying to stop it. Easy to stand aside and criticize, harder to do something constructive. Next riot, barricade Ferguson and let them riot to their hearts content. You cannot have it both ways.

Tim Corkill
Tim Corkill

They will give all trained racist bigots from iraq guns and badges

Douglas Ryan Heberer
Douglas Ryan Heberer

Since you seem to be all knowing Cest, similar to your friend Chris, please tell me how my comments were bigoted?

Tyrone Austin
Tyrone Austin

Over $150,000,000 in lawsuits over Mike Brown, My Question is . How much will any of these people involved are willing to Make World Business History with a just a portion of the funds and reduce Gas prices so Job growth can star in Black communities. ??? Google The Hydrogen Car Fender Insert program that reduced gas to below $1.99gl and lower. This is a $3BILLION A MONTH PROGRAM. Just don't give it all back to the MAN. 1/4 of Big Oil Revenues in American hands. - YouTube Video for The Hydrogen Car Fender Insert program 1:17 www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2TAvFwKlAQ

Brian Boyd
Brian Boyd

Cest is not a name. It's a saying. I think it translates to "That's life bohemian" IIRC. Just another troll hiding behind a fake account on Facebook.

Malissa McLaurin
Malissa McLaurin

Brian Boyd there were and have bee peaceful protests the entire time. Everyday. The media waited and waited for the disturbances to report. You know how that goes. And WHY are we still talking about the looters and such. Let's move on to how we can heal. All of stl.

Malissa McLaurin
Malissa McLaurin

Mary E Kaufmann start the uproar about the cop in Utah. Protest! Get people together! It's not about a white cop shooting a black guy. It's more than that. It's about police force in certain communities. It's about overall racial injustice.

Mary E Kaufmann
Mary E Kaufmann

Rachel - how many have died and given there all for this county and how many have been attejded by White House Officials? I am just saying they are making mrore out of a thug than any of our awesome men and women who wear any uniform to protect and sure, no matter who they are.

Rachel Duncan
Rachel Duncan

Mary if you're referring to Maj. Gen. Harold Greene, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel attended the two star general's service.

Kelli Mayahi
Kelli Mayahi

Jeeeeeeezaloo Cest Lavie......do you ever take a moment to review and breathe? ??? Just curious

Brian Boyd
Brian Boyd

Well mr fake name you should try some faux mews because I can tell you these liberal sites lie just as much and the truth is somewhere in between, A big dose of The Daily Kos is every bit as lethal as a straight dose of Hannity. Being a liberal sheep is every bit as bad as being a conservative sheep.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

BTW, the First Amendment doesn't have a curfew. Please review.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

And also, heads up, just saying "siding with black people" sort of implies that every single black person has the same view. I'm white, and it sounds like you wouldn't agree with me either.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

And Chris, where are the bigoted trolls gonna do while Congress is in recess and they don't have anyone to keep screaming BENGHAZI too?

Mary E Kaufmann
Mary E Kaufmann

Sharpton sure did - maybe you didn't hear all he said. But I am not here to debate, I want to see either the news stations/papers makeing a Saint out of MB and (yes Crest) Dillon Taylor. While it didn't happen here, MB occured here, but caused riots/protests and etc in many other cities it didn't happen in. Report, but report all. Maybe read the article and listen to the video, might enlighten. http://www.ijreview.com/2014/08/170804-conservative-pundit-bill-whittle-defines-race-war-really-occurring-precisely-explains/

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

Aren't you Officer Heberer? And your comments above looked kind of bigoted. And completely ignorant of the police response to the Civil Rights movement, and ignorant of First Amendment rights.

Tammy Dunn
Tammy Dunn

Oh and cest don't bother going on another rant. I'm not coming back.

Roy Johnson
Roy Johnson

All of the media outlets are bias, so don't tell me where to go, there is no where to go, they're all one big mass of crap.

Tammy Dunn
Tammy Dunn

Cest has really got a hard on here. It's getting truly beyond absurdity now. I'm gonna go do something useful. Peace out!

Jeff Lagemann
Jeff Lagemann

hy·per·bo·le hīˈpərbəlē/Submit noun exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally. synonyms: exaggeration, overstatement, magnification, embroidery, embellishment, excess, overkill, rhetoric; More

Stasie Xombie
Stasie Xombie

Spelling the name of a news channel incorrectly doesnt make you look correct cest. It makes you look ignorant and slightly trollish.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

Yes, many of them do. What is your point? Please feel free to go to a protest and ask people where they work. You see, a lot of people are able to manage to do more than just go to work in a day. Some work and take care of families, and many do it riding public transit, which in St Louis, has an index of 45-60 minutes for every 15-20 of drive time.

Brian Boyd
Brian Boyd

After seeing how they reported Ferguson I can never believe what they say again. If they can't report Ferguson truthfully then how can we believe they are reporting anything in Iraq and Afghanistan truthfully?

Brian Boyd
Brian Boyd

I will gladly excuse the 20 peaceful protestors that were being filmed by the 60 news crews.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

Loud music, drinking and twerking is not illegal, and not unusual in parking lots anyhow. Go down to the Loop or Washington or Soulard and see that (maybe not as much twerking) any night of the week. And stop lumping all the protestors with the troublemakers. It wasn't all troublemakers it was very few. And if the police had not treated everyone the same, they could have located those with bad intent faster and without breaking Constitutional Law.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

Plenty of peaceful protestors out at night, in part to keep the peace and stay focused on the issues and not just fighting the cops. What night were you there? Or what day for that matter?

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

Well except for that little part where the police violated Constitutional Law, are paid public servants, and are expected to behave as such. The police outnumbered the troublemakers by I don't even know how much, half the time there seemed to be more of the cops than protestors, unless it is a daytime march.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

Maybe you have messed up friends. What does this have to do with this article?

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

I know, the cops have just continued to behave shamelessly. I am glad you see that.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

And I'd hardly say that Sharpton or Jackson have incited, in fact the opposite, they have called for peace.

Meg Mertz
Meg Mertz

Psh, I don't like either of those. So yeah.

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