Toledoan Tim Ide has been glued to Ferguson, Mo., since Michael Brown was lying on a street there, gunned down by police.
National outrage has broken out over the shooting of the unarmed black teenager by white police and what many perceive is a militarized police response to protests, and Mr. Ide has gone to Ferguson to both document protests there and join their ranks.
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Mr. Ide and his son, Dylan, run Miserable City TV, a film and photography company. They arrived in Ferguson this morning, and in a phone interview, the elder Mr. Ide became emotional about “another dead kid on the ground.”
Protests of the Saturday shooting have at times become violent, but many have accused the police response - which has included officers in military-style gear, heavy weapons, teargas to break up protests, and the arrest of journalists - as stoking anger, instead of diffusing emotions. Ferguson is predominately African American, while police officers conducting crowd control in recent days have been mostly white.
Protests have been held in several U.S. cities in solidarity with Ferguson residents, and Mr. Ide said he hoped to bring a message from northwest Ohio about the shooting and police reaction.
“It struck me as something that I feel will be another watershed moment about the militarization of the police,” he said.
The tone of protests shifted Thursday after the governor put the state Highway Patrol in charge of security in the city. Some troopers joined protesters, and the military equipment disappeared.
Mr. Ide has been interviewing protesters, and taking video and pictures to document the push back against police.
But anger returned today, when Ferguson police said Mr. Brown was killed after he robbed a store of cigars. Mr. Ide said the actions by police were “character assassination.”
“Even if this kid stole something, whatever, you can't gun him down,” he said.
Protester Anthony Ross told him that, “We're tired of these lies. The police come out today trying to shame Mike, but it still doesn't answer the question. Why was he shot?"