Michael Brown shooting: T-shirts supporting Darren Wilson, the officer who killed the teenager, sold out at counter protest
The protesters had gathered outside a local TV station
T-shirts emblazoned with a slogan supporting the white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager sold out on Monday, during a protest countering tense demonstrations against the police which have entered their second week.
The killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown by 28-year-old Darren Wilson has sparked volatile demonstrations in the town of Ferguson, Missouri, and heightened tensions between the city’s majority black community and its majority white police force.
Police have said little about the encounter between Brown and the officer, except that it involved a scuffle in which the officer was injured and Brown was shot. Witnesses say the teenager had his hands in the air as the officer fired multiple rounds.
On Sunday afternoon, a group of around 100 counter-protesters, all but one of whom were white, picketed against what they regarded as biased reporting of Brow's death. They gathered outside the local KSDK-TV station in St Louis, which had broadcast images of Wilson’s home.
The station later removed the footage from its website and apologised “to our audience, to the surrounding neighborhoods, to the greater St Louis community and to the officer for our mistake”, the Guardian reported.
The protests was organised via a pro-Wilson Facebook page which was established on Saturday and had garnered over 25,000 ‘likes’ by Monday evening (GMT).
Tweets from the scene show t-shirts featuring a police officer badge embossed with the slogan: “Officer Darren Wilson I stand by you” alongside the date the teenager died. Selling for $7 each, the 55 t-shirts quickly sold out, according to the Huffington Post.
T-shirts on sale with police-style badge saying "Officer Darren Wilson - I stand by you". $7, just sold out pic.twitter.com/nhXhn4Nvmd— Jon Swaine (@jonswaine) August 17, 2014
The protesters also passed around a card, in which they wrote messages of support for the officer.
“He was doing his job,” said Kaycee Reinisch, 57, of Lincoln County, Missouri told the Guardian on Sunday.
“And now because of public uproar in Ferguson, he is being victimised. He is being victimised by the whole city, the state and the federal government.” Reinisch said she had relations in law enforcement who would be “frightened to do their jobs” if Wilson were punished for the incident.
Earlier in the day, violence in the city was renewed as a private autopsy report was released showing that Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager killed by a white police officer in the St Louis suburb last weekend, had been shot six times – twice in the head.
Later on Monday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on US authorities to ensure that protesters rights were protected in Ferguson.
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