With racial tensions high and parts of the city still smoldering, the last thing the Ferguson police department needs is another scandal. With many protesters and outside observers already mistrusting of Ferguson police, claims that the department has ties to racist organizations have spread all too easily.
Last week Anonymous, that mysterious, decentralized, and infamous collection of online agitators, accused some Ferguson police officers of having ties to the Ku Klux Klan (KKK).
The recent riots in Ferguson began on Monday just after a grand jury declined to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Wilson, who is white, shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was black, on August 9. The shooting ignited protests in Ferguson and surrounding communities, and even sparked debate across the U.S. about the continued militarization of the country's police.
Anonymous released a YouTube video this week detailing its allegations. The proof is currently thin, consisting primarily of dubious sources and photos of KKK members at a rally for Wilson. The video states that the group will continue to search for possible connections.
Re: Darren Wilson Findings http://t.co/y7Lh7BMI9l
— Anon Cop Watch (@AnonCopWatch) November 21, 2014
Even with such thin support for the claim, the rumor that the KKK or similar organizations are involved in Ferguson is continuing to spread.
On Monday night the Flood christian Church, like many other buildings in and near Ferguson, was set on fire. Brown's father, Michael Brown, Sr. was a member of the church. The church's pastor, Carlton Lee, told NBC News that he believes white supremacists set the church on fire to "punish him for his support of the Brown family."
Adding to these concerns. right-wing pundits this week have been criticizing Ferguson protesters and rioters - and they haven't been shying away from the race angle. Ann Coulter on Monday voiced concern for "whites cowering in their homes," while Ted Nugent posted a Facebook rant that includes the phrases "racist Czar," "black klansmen," and "gangsta assholes."
MO guv: Cops will protect lives, property & "free speech." Only people whose free speech is threatened are whites cowering in their homes.
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) November 25, 2014