The activist hacker organization known as Anonymous claims that it has obtained information on the upcoming Grand Jury decision over the indictment of Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed Michael Brown. According to the group, Wilson will not be indicted on any charges related to the shooting.
The incident has sparked ongoing unrest, violence and vandalism in Ferguson and, following leaks from Michael Brown’s autopsy report, speculation has swirled around what a Grand Jury might conclude. Those who protest Brown’s killing as unlawful maintain that Brown gunned down whilst backing away from the police officer, whilst evidence from the scene – as well as the results of Brown’s autopsy and the injuries sustained by Darren Wilson – points to a violent confrontation which ended when Wilson shot Brown several times. Information leaked from the report has been used by both sides in the dispute to validate their claims, but the findings appear to indicate that Michael Brown was advancing on Wilson and was shot at close range. There is some dispute over what occurred during a possible altercation at the police SUV Wilson was driving, prior to the fatal shooting.
Anonymous says it has received “a series of leaks from two separate and unrelated sources.” The group did not identify those sources but described them as government employees “with access to both internal government as well as confidential police communications.”
Anonymous does not plan to reveal all the details of the information it claims to have obtained, but put out a statement that said “Darren Wilson will NOT be indicted on ANY charges related to the murder of Mike Brown. All local police Chiefs and jail commanders have been notified to begin preparing for major civil unrest.” In the same statement, the group claims that Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has been made aware of the decision not to indict Darren Wilson and has alerted the National Guard to be prepared to enforce martial law, in the face of a highly anticipated wave of protests and general civil unrest.
Police in the St. Louis suburb have faced unrest on the streets and outside their own department building on a nightly basis since the August shooting that left 18-year-old Michael dead in the middle of the street in broad daylight. Vandalism, looting and numerous acts of violence have been perpetrated by locals and outsiders who claim that Brown’s killing by a white police officer was racially motivated. Throughout the nights, police riot gear have tense stand-offs with masked protesters. The protesters throw bricks and bottles at the police lines and the officers respond with tear gas.
A Grand Jury is expected to make a decision on or around November 10. The prevailing feeling is that, if the Grand Jury decides that Wilson will not be indicted, Ferguson will descend into chaotic violence.
Although Anonymous now claims that they have information from reliable sources that Wilson will not be indicted, they have put out false information in the past, relating to this case. A short time after the shooting, a twitter account affiliated with the hacker group revealed the personal information of the police officer they claimed had shot Brown. At that time, the Ferguson Police Department had declined to reveal the officer’s identity. Anonymous had it wrong, however; the officer they targeted was not directly involved in the shooting.
Graham J Noble