The hacktivist group Anonymous has stepped into the Ferguson fray -- saying it's poised to reveal the name of the police officer who shot Michael Brown, and releasing audio allegedly from the St. Louis County Police dispatcher on the day of Brown's death.
The audio, Anonymous said via YouTube description, was being released so the public was "able to get a sense of the atmosphere the moments before and the hours after Mike Brown was shot."
On Aug. 9 at around 2:00 in the afternoon, Michael Brown, an 18-year-old resident of Ferguson, a suburb outside of St. Louis, was shot by a police officer. Witnesses described a scene in which Brown was allegedly running with arms up, when he was shot multiple times.
The incident incited riots and looting, along with meaningful protest, powerful images and an important discussion about race and the militarization of the police. (A particularly powerful moment was an interview with Phillip Agnew on MSNBC this week.)
Anonymous, which notably got involved during the 2012 Stuebenville, Ohio, sexual assault case, has gotten involved in the Ferguson case. They launched the Twitter handle @OpFerguson, and @TheAnonMessage is also tweeting updates.
This specific piece of audio is not, however, from the Ferguson Police Department, whose officer shot Michael Brown, where more discussion of the shooting was likely to happen. Regardless, there are some notable spaces in this alleged St. Louis County Police audio regarding the shooting. Mashable reports:
"Discussion of the shooting begins at 11:26, when a dispatcher mentions hearing about the incident "on the news," and at minute 44, which contains audio from 1:35 p.m. - 2:05 p.m., the dispatcher says "we are switching over to the riot channel."
St. Louis County Police is aware of the Anonymous audio, and they are looking into the authenticity of the tapes, Mashable reports. "We are aware of this and are currently investigating it," spokesperson Brian Schellman told Mashable.
The audio, Anonymous states, has been lightly edited to remove long gaps of dead air. Anonymous explains:
"We are Anonymous.
These files compiled in this video contains audio of St. Louis police dispatch from the date of August 9th 2014, the day Mike Brown was murdered by a Ferguson PD officer. We have released these tapes to the public so as they are able to get a sense of the atmosphere the moments before and the hours after Mike Brown was shot.
These raw audio files have been compiled and long quiet moments have been cut down. Time stamps are available within the video."
Anonymous is also threatening to release the name of the officer involved in the shooting, the Daily Dot reported. Yesterday, they tweeted: