Protests entered their fifth and most tense day in Ferguson, Missouri in response to a police officer shooting an unarmed black man on Saturday, and it’s hard to look at the photos and believe the scene is in the United States.
From heavily-armed SWAT officers aiming rifles at unarmed civilians to the use of intimidating armoured vehicles — it looks less small-town U.S.A. and more like Egypt’s Tahrir Square during the Arab Spring. The behaviour of police is similar — albeit less deadly — in the use of tear gas, rubber bullets, and a deafening loudspeaker meant to break up the peaceful demonstration officers had declared “no longer peaceful.”
Various live streams showed a defiant, but mostly peaceful crowd chanting and singing songs. But on Wednesday evening, the situation escalated as officers told the crowd they needed to go home over a loudspeaker, although they were told their “right to assembly is not being denied.” Two reporters were later arrested while working inside a McDonald’s restaurant nearby, for no apparent reason.
Soon after, police moved in on the crowd, firing tear gas and rubber bullets, and instructed people to turn off their cameras.
These are the unbelievable images we’ve seen so far:
The photos from Wednesday are among other disturbing images taken in recent days, showing militarized police units being used:
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