Ferguson: Gun-Toting Black Workers Save White Shops From Looters
Ferguson, USA, is not all about division. After the grand jury decided against trying white officer Darren Wilson for any crime relating to his fatal shooting of unarmed black man Michael Brown, emotions ran high:
A group of black Ferguson residents armed with high-powered rifles stood outside a white-owned business in the city during recent riots, protecting it from rioters that looted and burned other businesses… Several buildings were set ablaze, but a group of heavily armed black men stood outside a Conoco gas station.
One of the residents, a 6-foot-8 man named Derrick Johnson, held an AR-15 assault rifle as he stood in a pickup truck near that store’s entrance. Three other black Ferguson residents joined Johnson in front of the store, each of them armed with pistols.
In a city torn apart by racial tensions, the fact that black residents took up arms to defend a white-owned store made headlines.
The men said they felt indebted to the store’s owner, Doug Merello, who employed them over the course of several years.
The men said Merello always treated them with respect.
“He’s a nice dude, he’s helped us a lot,” said a man identified himself as R.J. The 29-year-old R.J. said the group chased away several groups of teenagers who wanted to loot the store, but also nearly got into a brush with soldiers from the Missouri National Guard, who initially mistook them for looters.
Guns, eh. Turns out they can be useful…