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Redditor from st. Louis tells what’s really going on

"I’m from St. Louis, and am actually surprised at the representation of the situation locally vs. nationally. For some reason the national reaction has been largely one-sided as depicting cops as being out of control militants; locally I think they’re showing more of the story from both sides.

Ferguson is a smaller city (~20,000) and much of the rioting that has been happening has been a result of sketchy people from the city of St. Louis taking advantage of the situation there.

The police have repeatedly told individuals to protest during the day and stay indoors at night, for everyone’s safety. The past few nights, tear gas has been used to disband the crowd as a result of cops getting fired at, having rocks thrown at them, or molotov cocktails being tossed. Cops in and around Ferguson are now working 12-hour days with no days off. Many are receiving death threats, are spit on and cursed by protestors, and I can understand why they’re uptight.

On the other hand, the people of Ferguson have a right to be angry and many have been peacefully protesting with no problems whatsoever. They’ve been walking around with their hands up, chanting “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot.” From the footage I’ve seen, the cops have rarely been pointing weapons at people (especially in the daytime) except to clear out certain areas. I imagine that’s what’s going on here.

Sadly, a small group of idiots has made the entire situation into a shitstorm with looting and violence, causing even more tension between police and citizens. The other night police responded to four masked men with shotguns in the street (one of whom was shot by police after pointing his weapon at them) and a woman was shot in a drive-by shooting (which never happens in Ferguson).

It’s disheartening and infuriating to see the situation spiral out of control like this. The media is consistently turning it into a racial issue when it isn’t. [A recent twitter movement revealed a number of individuals claiming that individuals should “attack rich white neighborhoods” rather than attack their own city](http://twitchy.com/2014/08/11/loot-and-rob-them-not-your-own-twitter-users-advise-black-people-to-loot-white-neighborhoods/), which has resulted in fighting and the lockdown of stores and malls in surrounding areas. [The New Black Panthers recently sent a letter to the FBI promising violence](http://wtvr.com/2014/08/13/fbi-warns-of-new-black-panther-party-leader-inciting-violence-in-ferguson/), which has only added fuel to the fire.

This entire situation has been a distraction from what’s important. An individual was shot by a police officer - was the officer in the wrong, or was he justified based on the evidence? We don’t know and we need to let the FBI and Justice Department determine it as unbiasedly as possible. Regardless of what happens it’s so far been a case of he-said-she-said with racial tension mounting.”

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