If you don't believe Ferguson police are overzealous and out of control, listen up. On Sunday, a young woman was shopping for hair care products at Beauty Town on W Florissant. She had just made a purchase from Family Dollar across the street, and walked over to compare prices. Some people don't believe that Black people are responsible consumers and think that we just spend money mindlessly, so maybe that's why the owner didn't believe the young woman had not shoplifted the item from his store. His security sensor went off, and he demanded to search the woman's purse. She showed him the item with the Family Dollar sticker on it and her receipt and refused to be searched. Why would you let someone go through your personal items when you are being wrongfully accused and showing them the proof?
The owner of Beauty Town refused to believe that the woman had not stolen from him and assaulted her: he grabbed her, ripped her bra, and in the struggle, exposed her breast. Yet still, the police were called on her. The woman willingly waited for police, knowing she had done nothing wrong.
Members of The Lost Voices showed up with cameras and questions. As youth activists in Ferguson, we believe it is our responsibility to document police encounters and show the world (and our civil rights lawyers) how out of control officials are in Ferguson. Twelve police cars across several jurisdictions responded to this call. How many taxpayer dollars were wasted in this call over the alleged theft of a perm that could not have cost more than $10?
Check out the video to see the entire encounter and how we refuse to be terrorized by Ferguson police. After we responded, the woman was released, and one by one, the police cars retreated. Our voices our powerful and our cameras are aimed at injustice. Say cheese.