Ferguson, Missouri—Images of police officers using tear gas and rubber bullets on protesters this month have shocked the world, raising awareness of America’s increasingly militarized police forces, many of which are subsidized by the federal government.
While most of the photos from the Ferguson protests were taken on West Florissant Avenue, cell phone footage obtained by The Nation shows how the heavily armed police also made themselves known at Canfield Green Apartments, the neighborhood where Michael Brown was shot and killed on August 9. The video provides another example of the intimidation tactics so commonly used by law enforcement since the beginning of protests in Ferguson earlier this month.
The footage, captured by Canfield Green resident Marquez Larkin on the evening of August 13, features a line of about twenty police officers clad in riot gear, guarding the entrance of the neighborhood. Larkin said he and his brother, Khalil Fells, had just been herded back away from West Florissant at gunpoint.
They saw an unidentified man approaching the blockade of officers, walking back and forth at least three times. Larkin whipped out his cellphone and began to record. In the video, the man can be seen putting his hands up and yelling at the police before multiple popping sounds, which Larkin said came from police shooting rubber bullets, can be heard. The popping continues as the man turns around to walk away. Larkin and a crowd of spectators ran in the opposite direction of the police. Although it’s unclear from the video whether the man is shot, Fells said he saw him get hit in the foot.
Minutes later, a white woman approached the blockade, according to Fells. Although this moment was not captured on camera, another witness at the scene, Hakeem Ibery, also saw an “older white woman” approach the officers.
Fells observed, “Everybody clapped. They wanted to see what will happen to her. All [the police] said was, ‘Ma’am, can you please turn around?’”
She turned around and walked back to the crowd.