The mysterious deaths of six activists connected to protests in Ferguson, Missouri have left the community on “pins and needles.”
Four and half years ago, police officer Darren Wilson killed unarmed Black teen, MichaelBrown. Brown was 18 at the time of his death. After a grand jury declined to charge Wilson in November 2014, Ferguson broke out into numerous protests. The protests also led to the first death of an activist. Since then, community leaders linked to the protests have been mysteriously dying.
Two men were found in burned cars, three died of apparent suicides, and one was ruled a drug overdose after collapsing on a bus. In addition, many protest leaders have received anonymous threats. Police said only two of the deaths were homicides, in which they’ve claimed to be having trouble finding witnesses to come forward. However, the community isn’t buying their story, as they believe white supremacists or police sympathizers are killing them off.
In another incident, Rev. Darryl Gray said he found a box inside his car. When the bomb squad arrived to the scene, no explosives were found, but a 6-foot python was inside. “Everybody is on pins and needles,” Gray said of his fellow activists.
Despite the consistent harassment and threats, police have yet to make any arrests, claiming they need more evidence or witnesses. St. Louis County police spokesman Shawn McGuire said witnesses have simply refused to come forward, leaving detectives with no answers for why the men were targeted. “We don’t believe either one was connected to each other,” McGuire said, but adding, “It’s tough to come up with a motive without a suspect.”
“Something is happening,” said Cori Bush, a frequent leader of the Ferguson protests. “I’ve been vocal about the things that I’ve experienced and still experience — the harassment, the intimidation, the death threats, the death attempts.” Bush said her home had been vandalized, her car ran off the road, and someone shot a bullet through her car, barely missing her 13-year-old daughter.
So far the Ferguson protestor deaths include: #MarShawnMcCarrel, #EdwardCrawfordJr., #DanyeJones, #BassemMasri, #DarrenSeals and #DeandreJoshua. Community leaders say something isn’t right.