The hacker group Anonymous has reportedly leaked a map showing how law enforcement plans to surround Ferguson, Mo., in response to the riots expected after a jury decides whether to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown.
The red boundaries on the map contain the entire city of Ferguson as well as parts of nearby Florissant and Normandy and it’s quite likely the enclosed area will represent a Constitution-free zone.
Federal agents are already present in and around Ferguson.
While stopping at a tactical equipment shop for cold weather gear, a Department of Homeland Security agent told the owner that there are already at least 80 agents in the area to protect federal buildings and courthouses in downtown St. Louis.
But the leaked map, combined with the photos of dozens of DHS vehicles at a hotel in Chesterfield and the perpetual zeal of government agents foreshadow a notable federal presence in Ferguson.
“It smells like a huge fed setup as far as I’m concerned,” reporter Joe Biggs said about the situation, who is on the ground in Ferguson. “The biggest danger this time around in Ferguson is going to be the agent provocateurs, inside feds.”
“They’re talking about the KKK coming in and we know a lot of these guys are feds as well; when I looked up the name of Frank Ancona, the guy who was the leader of the KKK in this area, the first thing that popped up was that he was on the FBI’s dead list, so it’s a little fishy.”
The Missouri governor has already declared a state of emergency in Ferguson.
“As part of our ongoing efforts to plan and be prepared for any contingency, it is necessary to have these resources in place in advance of any announcement of the grand jury’s decision,” Gov. Jay Nixon said. “These additional resources will support law enforcement’s efforts to maintain peace and protect those exercising their right to free speech.”
But it’s more likely that government officials will violate rights within the map’s red boundaries.
Back in August, for example, Missouri State Highway Patrol officers on patrol in Ferguson were telling peaceful protestors and journalists that they had to keep walking down the sidewalk and could not stand still.
“Keep walking, I’m not going to tell you again!” One officer barked at journalists in front of the former QuikTrip gas station.
A federal judge later ruled that the officers were violating Constitutional rights.
U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry issued a preliminary injunction last month prohibiting law enforcement from continuing the practice because “it is likely that these agencies will again apply this unconstitutional policy.”
And time will tell what other unconstitutional policies local, state and federal law enforcement will enact as the unrest unfolds in St. Louis.