Less than two months ago, the death of Michael Brown sparked outrage throughout the nation, before more information seemingly made the incident less clearly a case of random police violence. The dispute between the police and the community led to weeks of unrest in the St. Louis, Missouri suburb and to another very tense national discussion about race.
Now, in the space of less than 24 hours, two different police officers have taken fire near ground zero of the Michael Brown shooting.
First, early Saturday morning a police officer on patrol in Ferguson was shot in the arm. The officer was patrolling the community when he saw someone behind a local business. The officer pulled around the building and got out to question the person. It was at that time that the man took off running and the officer gave pursuit; at some point shortly after, the man spun around and began firing at the officer – one of the bullets hit him in the left arm.
The officer fired back, but the shooter got away.
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(The police have since clarified that the officer was not chasing two suspects, only one.)
The on Saturday night a second police officer was shot at as they drove near Ferguson on I-70. The officer was not on duty and was traveling in his own vehicle north of the St. Louis, near Ferguson, when another car pulled alongside him and began firing at his vehicle.
The officer was not hit by the shots, but was injured as the glass from his windows exploded around him.
Authorities do not believe either incident had anything to do with the Michael Brown shooting, but the case will most assuredly stay in the forefront of investigators minds as they seek to discover why these shootings occurred. The violence against the officers also threatens to reignite the simmering tension between police and the local population – if neither side feels that they can trust the other, things can only get worse.
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