So a Ferguson, Missouri cop shot a young black man two days ago. Here’s the police version of events [via wsj.com]: “County Police Chief Jon Belmar said the shooting occurred after an officer encountered two people—one of whom was Mr. Michael Brown—on the street near an apartment complex in Ferguson. Mr. Belmar said one of the men pushed the officer back into his squad car and a struggle began. Mr. Belmar said at least one shot was fired from the officer’s gun inside the police car . . . The struggle spilled out into the street, where Mr. Brown was shot multiple times. Mr. Belmar said the exact number of shots wasn’t known, but ‘it was more than just a couple.’ Police are still investigating why the officer shot Mr. Brown, who police have confirmed was unarmed.” Yesterday, someone in the African-American community organized a march on the police station . . .
a few hundred protesters had gathered outside Ferguson Police headquarters. At one point, many of them marched into an adjacent police building, some chanting “Don’t shoot me” while holding their hands in the air. Officers stood at the top of a staircase, but didn’t use force; the crowd eventually left.
And then a candlelight vigil. And then . . . looting.
Afterward, a convenience store was looted. Several other stores along a main road near the shooting scene were broken into, including a check-cashing store, a boutique and a small grocery store. People also took items from a sporting goods store and a cellphone retailer, and carted rims away from a tire store.
TV footage showed streams of people walking out of a liquor store carrying bottles of alcohol, and in some cases protesters were standing atop police cars or taunting officers who stood stoic, often in riot gear.
Other witnesses reported seeing people vandalize police cars and kick in windows. Television footage showed windows busted out of a TV station van.
According to the wsj.com, Anger Over Michael Brown Shooting Leads to Looting. The headline makes it seem as if the cops are somehow responsible for the looting.
Just as the law should hold police responsible for Mr. Brown’s death — if it was a bad shoot — the media should hold the looters responsible for looting. At the risk of stating the obvious, looting is an act of protest like beating up a stranger is an act of friendship.