Antonio French, part of the peaceful protests in Ferguson, Missouri, tweeted early this morning, “I can tell you firsthand that some of the people that remained tonight were armed. Were ready for a fight. And wanted to injure police.” Politicus USA has reproduced that tweet and others; hat tip to Fox News. Fox reports that one of the rioters fired a gun at police but didn’t injure anyone. Fox and others also report that one rioter was shot during the night and that that person is in critical condition, but no report I’ve seen clarifies who was shot or who did the shooting.
What is clear here is that the violent rioters in Ferguson—as distinguished from the peaceful protesters—are smashing and looting stores, intentionally trying to hurt police, and in general proving to the world that a forceful police response there is warranted. They are foolishly and self-destructively taking attention off of whether the shooting of Michael Brown was justified, and putting attention onto the criminal fringe of Ferguson. The rioters’ behavior is shameful, to say the least.