St. Louis area residents are being urged to stockpile food and prepare an evacuation plan in anticipation of a new wave of rioting related to the looming Ferguson grand jury decision.
One city government sent out a letter urging residents to prepare for violence if a grand jury does not charge the Ferguson police officer who killed Michael Brown.
“Keep your vehicle gas tanks full,” a frightening news alert from the city of Berkley, Missouri, states. Berkeley is a small town next to Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb. Ferguson was gripped by rioting over the summer after white police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown. Controversy surrounds whether Wilson was threatened.
“Make sure you have plenty of bottled water (a gallon per person a day), and nonperishable easy to access food in case you cannot get to a local store for a few days,” the alert warns. “Be sure you have an adequate supply of prescriptions and medicines to last for several days.”
“Develop a contact strategy for your family and loved ones to assure where everybody is and that all are safe and able to function,” the alert states. “Make two lists of emergency contact information – physician contact names and numbers, etc. Keep one in the house and one in your car.”
(Read, “4 Critical Things To Do When The Ferguson Riots Come To Your Town,” here.”)
Copies of the news alert were apparently mailed to Berkeley residents. News reports state that at least one other city government in the area has issued a similar warning.
A police blog include a warning from a Ferguson officer: “If you do not have a gun, get one and get one soon. We will not be able to protect you or your family. It will be your responsibility to protect them, Our gutless commanders and politicians have neutered us. I’m serious, get a gun, get more than one, and keep one with you at all times.”
Residents Considering Options
Residents of the area are living in fear and taking aggressive measures.
St. Louis resident Scott Tjaden told National Public Radio that he is thinking of staying with friends in suburban St. Louis County if the grand jury doesn’t indict Wilson.
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“During the protests, people did have guns and they were shooting into the air, and that could go into a window,” Tjdaden said. “I don’t think it’s unreasonable to be worried about that.”
“When you’ve got a 77-year-old grandma going out to buy a gun, that’s just hysteria,” Judy Tornatore said, referencing someone she knows. Tornatore lives in St. Louis County, and Ferguson is north of the city.
Lori Fowler, who also lives in St. Louis, recently bought three cans of wasp spray to use for self-defense. She heard that wasp spray shoots farther than pepper spray.
“If I ended up in a bad situation, and I needed to use it, I would,” Fowler told National Public Radio.
Radical Groups Trying to Fuel the Violence
The situation in Ferguson could be made worse by far-left and far-right radical groups that want to incite violence to promote their political agendas.
The anarchist hacker or “hacktivist” group Anonymous has been trying to promote violence in Ferguson for months. Its backers have been seen in the city and the group has leaked information about the Brown case in an attempt to incite more riots.
Anonymous succeeded in shutting down communication to Ferguson’s city hall through hacking on August 12, Time magazine reported. Among other things Anonymous was able to successfully sabotage the city’s phone system. There’s a strong possibility that Anonymous will launch another such attack if Wilson is not indicted. Anonymous also tried to spark rioting in other cities with a so-called “Day of Rage.”
“If you attack the protesters, we will attack every server and computer you have,” a message from Operation Ferguson (an Anonymous faction) stated in August. “We will dox [document trace] and release the personal information on every single member of the Ferguson Police Department, as well as any other jurisdiction that participates in the abuse. We will seize all your databases and e-mail spools and dump them on the Internet. This is your only warning.”
Anonymous has recently threatened to release more information about the Brown investigation, including proof that the grand jury will not indict Wilson. Some of this information is apparently false; the group claimed the grand jury would reach a decision “on or about” Nov. 10, but that did not happen.
Klan Threatens Lethal Force
Anonymous is not the only radical group trying to promote mayhem in Ferguson. The Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan has been distributing flyers in the Ferguson area. That group is a Klan faction based about 75 miles from Ferguson.
“Attention: to the terrorists masquerading as ‘peaceful protestors!’” A flyer with the initials KKK on it states. “We will use lethal force as provided under Missouri law to defend ourselves.”
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon told reporters that he is planning to mobilize the National Guard.
“The Guard will be available when we determine it is necessary to support local law enforcement,” Nixon told reporters. “Quite simply, we must and will be fully prepared.”
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