A Ferguson, Missouri, resident justified the looting and arson of a QuikTrip gas station as an appropriate response to Saturday’s police shooting of a teenager.
DeAndre Smith, 30, said members of the community were “fighting back” against the police when they ransacked and torched the QuikTrip near West Florissant and Ferguson Avenue, which is now a heap of burnt debris and twisted steel, after a Ferguson police officer shot and killed teenager Mike Brown.
“This is exactly what’s supposed to happen when an injustice is happening in your community when you have kids getting killed for nothing, when they’re out here minding their own business doing nothing,” he told a St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter while pointing at the smoldering gas station behind him.
“You can lock them up, teach them, hold them but at the same time you ain’t got to kill them.”
The QuikTrip, however, is obviously a privately-owned business not affiliated with the police, yet that didn’t stop residents from destroying the gas station.
Smith also admitted that he was present when the QuikTrip was set ablaze.
“I was out here, that’s all I can say,” he stated. “I was out here standing side-by-side with the community.”
“I mean, I don’t think it’s over, honestly; I think they just got a taste of what fighting back means.”
To further make his case, Smith referred back to the death of Travyon Martin, which underscores how the 2012 shooting in Florida is still flaring tensions across America.
“You [the public] say Trayvon had a hoodie on, you didn’t now what was going on with him, but he [Brown] didn’t have no hoodie and his hands was up when [the police] shot him, so what’s your excuse?” He asked.
Similarly, one of the residents who looted the QuikTrip while it was still standing was wearing a R.I.P. Trayvon t-shirt.
Twitter users also made heavy mention of Trayvon Martin in the past two days while discussing the shooting death of Brown.
“Mike Brown equals Trayvon Martin reincarnated,” Eric George claimed on Twitter, and other users likewise suggested that Brown was the “next Trayvon Martin.”
The investigation into Brown’s death could take up to six weeks, and if the officer involved is cleared of any wrongdoing, L.A.-style riots could erupt in not only Ferguson, but many other cities as well.