FERGUSON, Mo. (CBS St. Louis/AP) — A Democratic Missouri state senator slammed Gov. Jay Nixon in a Twitter rant on Thursday, condemning him over the Ferguson protests that stemmed from the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Missouri state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal lashed out at Nixon after the governor tweeted that they “must keep the peace, while safeguarding rights of citizens and the press.”
“You don’t know s*** bc you never communicate. F*** you, Governor!” Chappelle-Nadal tweeted.
She then tweeted: “F*** you, Governor. I’m calling your bull****!”
Chappelle-Nadal spoke with MSNBC Thursday, labeling Nixon a “coward.” She will be on with KMOX’s Mark Reardon during the Reardon Roundtable on Friday at 2:00 PM – LISTEN HERE.
“Out governor … has been absent from the minority community, not for a few years, but for a few decades, and this is inexcusable,” she told MSNBC. “And he only comes to the minority community when it’s politically expedient. And now that the world’s eyes are on Missouri… the governor is now here. But he’s not really at Ground Zero. He’s never come to Ground Zero… For that, I call him a coward.”
Chappelle-Nadal said she was hit with tear gas during protests Monday night by Ferguson authorities. She told KMOV-TV that she was with 150 protesters when police acted aggressively toward them.
“Protesters have every right to assemble freely and express themselves and not have tear gas thrown at them. By the way, tear gas was thrown on me and we could not breathe,” she told KMOV. “I approve their budget, so you know that I’m pissed off.”
Tensions in Ferguson boiled over after a candlelight vigil Sunday night, as looters smashed and burned businesses in the neighborhood, where police have repeatedly fired tear gas and smoke bombs.
By Thursday, there was a dramatic shift in the atmosphere after Gov. Jay Nixon assigned protest oversight to Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, who is black and grew up near Ferguson. He marched alongside protesters, along with other high-ranking brass from the Highway Patrol and the St. Louis County Police Department.
“We’re here to serve and protect,” Johnson said. “We’re not here to instill fear.”
Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson released several police reports and documents during a news conference Friday where he also identified the officer involved as Darren Wilson, who has been on administrative leave since he shot 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9.
Brown and his friend, Dorian Johnson, were suspected of taking a box of cigars from a convenience store in Ferguson that morning, according to police reports. Jackson said Wilson went to the area after a 911 call reporting a “strong-arm” robbery just before noon. He said a dispatcher gave a description of the robbery suspect, and Wilson, who had been assisting on another call, was sent to investigate.
Wilson, a six-year veteran of the police department, encountered Brown just after 12:01 p.m., with a second officer arriving three minutes later, Jackson said.
Brown’s uncle, Bernard Ewing, questioned whether Wilson really believed Brown was a suspect. He noted Johnson’s account that the officer told the two young men to get out of the street and onto the sidewalk, and that Brown had his hands up when he was shot.
“If he’s a robbery suspect, they would have had the lights on,” Ewing said. “If you rob somebody, you would tell them, ‘Get on the ground’ or something, not, ‘Get off the sidewalk.'”
“It still doesn’t justify shooting him when he puts his hands up,” he added. “You still don’t shoot him in the face.”
A phone message seeking comment from the family’s attorney, Benjamin Crump, wasn’t immediately returned.