Anonymous, the Internet hacking collective, posted a video warning to the Ferguson, Missouri, police, admonishing them for fatally shooting Mike Brown, an unarmed African American teenager, and swearing revenge if any protesters demonstrating against the police are harmed. The group, which has adopted the Guy Fawkes mask as its symbol and frequently becomes involved in contentious legal matters, said in the video late Sunday Brown’s death Saturday is just the latest example of police misconduct having deadly consequences.
Brown, a graduate of St. Louis’ Normandy High School, was killed after a run-in with police and, while few details are known, a disturbing picture of the young man lying face down on the street has helped incite a wave of Internet action.
“The entire global collective of Anonymous is outraged at this cold blooded murder of a young teen. Not a week goes by that some young person, usually of minority ethnicity -- is slaughtered by murderous police in the USA,” a disguised voice said in the video, which can be found below.
“For this reason Anonymous will not be satisfied this time, as we have in the past -- with simply obtaining justice for this young man and his family. Anonymous demands that the congressional representatives and senators from Missouri introduce legislation entitled ‘Mike Brown’s Law’ that will set strict national standards for police conduct in the USA. We further demand that this new law include specific language to grant the victims of police violence the same rights and prerogatives that are already enjoyed nationwide by the victims of other violent criminals.”
Of the few details police have released about the shooting perhaps the most explosive has been the explanation that Brown was shot because he reached for an officer’s gun. Brown’s death, and the notion he was somehow to blame, has infuriated the mostly black community and led to protests Sunday, culminating in a riot and 32 arrests. Anonymous, in the same video and the Pastebin message that accompanied it, threatened the police with consequences if any demonstrators are harmed.
“If you abuse, harass or harm in any way the protesters in Ferguson we will take every Web-based asset of your departments and governments offline. That is not a threat. It is a promise,” the message went on. “We will dox 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 email spools and dump them on the Internet.”