Photo credit David Carson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
In one of the more surreal Ferguson stories, one of the younger, more liked “peaceful” protesters, Josh Williams, was arrested and charged with arson of a QuikTrip in Berkeley, Missouri (pretty much next to Ferguson in North St. Louis County) following the death of Antonio Martin who was killed in a confrontation with police earlier in the week.
From the St. Louis Post-Disgrace’s online page, stltoday.com:
St. Louis County police arrested Joshua Williams, 19, of St. Louis, on Friday after several local media outlets and store surveillance captured images of him trying to set a pile of wood on fire outside the QuikTrip on North Hanley Road early Wednesday. [Christmas Eve]
Williams confessed to setting fires at the store in a videotaped interview, according to court documents.
Police say Williams entered the QuikTrip shortly after looters shattered its glass doors during protests of the death of Antonio Martin, 18, who a police officer had shot earlier at the Mobil station across the street. Surveillance footage from the Mobil store shows Martin point what police say is a gun at a Berkeley officer before the officer fatally shoots him.
Williams can be seen in videos both inside and outside the looted QuikTrip, authorities said.
Can’t argue with surveillance video and confessions in court documents.
Not 24 hours after the report surfaced that Mr. Williams had been arrested much to the dismay of the actual peaceful clergy who have been prominent in the Ferguson situation, this appeared on the Twitter feed of one of the most obnoxious of the local protesters:
Think about that. Â A Ferguson protester and live streamer who has also been arrested is crowdfunding the bail for an arsonist. Â The link leads to the “donate” page for the Legal Support Fund forÂ Justice for Mike Brown protesters page. Â They’re sticking together in an us vs. them fashion.
While Mr. Williams has been arrested for unlawful assembly and other non-destructive charges related to protesting, this is the first destruction of property related felony on his rap sheet. Â This is very disappointing to a number of people in the actual peaceful protest and discussion group. Â â€œJosh is one of the young activists, and all of us have taken close to him. We got to know his heart, and he got to know ours,â€ said Bishop Derrick Robinson, of Kingdom Destiny Fellowship International. â€œHeâ€™s a great kid, an educated kid, a child who knows what he wants and is very active in the community.â€Â Â Yet he set a woodpile outside a QuikTrip on fire and later confessed to it.
And the other prominent protesters are bailing him out. Â That should tell everyone something.