Did military police set fires in Ferguson, blame protestors?
Multiple videos are circulating on social media and independent news sites that show paramilitary police allegedly setting fire to a vehicle that is parked next to an Advanced Auto Parts Store in Ferguson, Missouri the night that the grand jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson was announced.
The police appear to have the area locked down, with no protesters anywhere near the building, and then video shows what appears to be an incendiary device being thrown into the parked vehicle
The Advanced Auto Parts store was one of several stores that was burned down on W. Florissant Avenue, the site of a large portion of the protests that took place back in August right after Michael Brown was killed.
Long before these videos surfaced, on the night of the grand jury announcement, some social media users spoke out about feeling like it took fire trucks an extended period of time to respond to fires on W. Florissant compared to fires that occurred in other places. Some even insinuated that officials were intentionally allowing Ferguson to burn while they did a better job protecting areas of town with higher proportions of white residents and more affluence.
Organizers in Ferguson report training some 600 people in nonviolent civil disobedience tactics, which of course would not include burning cars and buildings. What is interesting about Advanced Auto Parts is that despite the paramilitary force having the store and parking lot locked down, the store burnt to the ground. It is unclear who the paramilitary force is, but private military contractors were hired as security forces.
While the videos that have surfaced do not seem to provide bullet proof evidence, they do seem to warrant further investigation into whether or not privately hired military and/or police contractors could have contributed to some of the destruction that occurred in Ferguson following the grand jury announcement.