DeAndre Smith, a resident of Ferguson, Missouri, told the Post-Dispatch the proper response to the alleged police shooting of Michael Brown Jr. is to torch private property.
“This is exactly what is supposed to happen when an injustice is happening in your community,” Smith said as he stood before a smoldering QuikTrip. He went on to say arson and rioting are appropriate responses to slavery.
The destroyed store served as a gathering place Monday night for residents outraged by the alleged murder. Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson told CBS News the police used tear gas and beanbag rounds against the crowd by nightfall.
Smith, who hinted he had something to do with the arson, may believe destroying the private property of people who had nothing to do with the shooting substitutes for justice, but the NAACP disagrees.
“To sneak around under the cover of darkness, to steal, to loot, to burn down your neighborhood – this does not require courage,” National NAACP President Cornell William Brooks said. “Courage is when you strive for justice.”
“Martin Luther King did not live and die so that we may steal and lie in the middle of the night.”