In video footage captured Tuesday night at the protests in Ferguson, citizen journalist Rebelutionary Z using livestreaming website Ustream to document the protests in real-time walks with a crowd of protesters and other media when a police officer approaches with his gun raised.
“My hands are up bro, my hands are up,” Rebelutionary Z says.
“I will fucking kill you,” the officer replies. “Get back! Get back!”
Someone in the group asks, “You’re going to kill him? What’s your name, sir?” The officer replies: “Go fuck yourself.”
A second police officer then approaches him and pushes his gun away from the crowd while escorting him away.
In a second video recorded during the first incident, journalist Caleb-Michael Files tells the officer to “put the fucking gun down.” He refuses.
Wednesday afternoon the Internet went to work investigating who #OfficerGoFuckYourself is, and was able to identify him as Ray Albers:
Hacker UGNazi dox’d him, complete with his name, age, date of birth, addresses, phone numbers, social security number, and even credit report:
Someone even launched a satirical, critical Twitter account at @OfcGoFuckUrself.
ACLU sent a request to Missouri State Highway Patrol Wednesday afternoon requesting they identify and remove the officer:
Within a few hours St. Louis County Police spokesman Brian Schellman in a statement to Mashable’s Brian Ries confirmed that the officer had been relieved of duty suspended indefinitely:
Internet 1 – Police State 0
UPDATE 08/29/2014 via St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
A St. Ann police lieutenant resigned Thursday after he pointed an assault rifle at protesters and cursed at them, officials said. Lt. Ray Albers had worked for the department for 20 years.
Albers resigned after the city’s board of police commissioners met and recommended to the board of aldermen that he be fired or resign.
“I’m not condoning his behavior whatsoever,” Chief Aaron Jiminez said Thursday. “It’s very hard because he is a good friend, he was a good boss. There’s going to be those who didn’t like him who are high-fiving now. Altogether it’s going to be a black eye on the city of St. Ann because he represented our department.”
Jiminez said that Albers raising his weapon was “totally justifiable.” Prior to the camera turning on, Albers had had water and urine thrown at him, Jiminez said. He then saw three men with bandanas in the crowd, and one of them had a gun. He then heard gunshots, but not from that gun. So Albers raised his gun. The three men started running, and then a crowd of people with cameras raised saw him with the raised gun and came toward him. They were “a whole bunch of what you’d call citizen journalists, who were sitting with cameras recording, waiting for something stupid to happen, which they got. They won on this one.”
Jiminez explained that Albers got scared when the crowd got close to him. “That’s why he used those words,” he said. That still doesn’t make the choice of words excusable, said Jiminez.
Albers had three past disciplinary incidents, Jimenez said, one in 1995, one in 1996 and another last year, when he “used a wrong choice of words with a resident, didn’t let the conversation go when he should have.” In the other incidents, a man came into a jail cell with jewelry on and Albers hadn’t properly checked him, and once Albers accidentally released somebody who had a misdemeanor traffic warrant in another jurisdiction, Jiminez said.
Jiminez said that if the Ferguson incident had happened at any other time, he and the board believed Albers would have been suspended without pay. “He solved burglaries, homicides, stealings, you name it, the guy did it,” Jiminez said. “He chose to work 14-hour days.
“Bottom line is, I have a job to do. As the chief of police, I have to do what’s best for the citizens. And the police commissioners saw that and the board did, too.”