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Police Civil Misconduct in Ferguson & St. Louis Vol. 1

Aggressive and potentially retaliatory police action against established protester safe space, MoKaBe's Coffeehouse. Gassing of peaceful protesters, patrons, owners, and children in enclosed quarters. 11/24/14 - 11/25/14.

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  1. All times on time-stamped media are approximate.
  2. In the early morning hours of November 25, 2014, about seven hours after the Grand Jury decision was announced in Ferguson, the St. Louis Police Department tear-gassed a cafe, MoKaBe's Coffeehouse, on Arsenal and South Grand in St. Louis. The coffeehouse was serving as a self-designated safe space for protesters, and there were approximately 70 patrons inside the building when the tear-gassing began.
  3. St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson offered an explanation of why the safe space was gassed to a local blog. Yet Chief Dotson's claims about the police's actions are inconsistent with video recording of the events and the accounts of the people who were subjected to those actions. This chronicle of first-hand accounts of the evening will refute several important claims of Dotson's.
  4. -Claim: That the police were dispersing a crowd filled with vandals and looters. The vandalism on South Grand had occurred at minimum fifteen minutes before police dispersed the crowd, and was not occurring preceding the first tear-gassing.
  5. -Claim: That the police gave warning to protesters before they resorted to tear gas for dispersal. There was never an audible, over-the-loudspeaker order to disperse given when the police first gassed the street.
  6. -Claim: That MoKaBe's was not specifically targeted. Not only was tear gas fired at the front of MoKaBe's, but police went around to gas the back exit of the coffeehouse, too.
  7. -Claim: That police did not shoot tear gas at the business or the people on the patio. Police shot tear gas at patrons on the sidewalk, gas canisters were found on the patio and between the cafe doors, and the building itself was filled with tear gas.
  8. MoKaBe's Coffeehouse publicly established themselves as a safe space for protesters in Ferguson following the grand jury announcement.
  9. After MoKaBe's announced it would keep its doors open, the following posts were screen-capped from the St. Louis Police's internal message board, CopTalk. CopTalk was recently made private, following unrest in the St. Louis area.
  10. The cafe also received threats and harassment on social media and IRL.
  11. MoKaBe's hosted a gathering to watch Bob McCulloch's announcement on the night of 11/24.
  12. Early warning of police movement towards MoKaBe's was broadcasted by regular protester Johnetta Elzie.
  13. Regular Ferguson protester DeRay McKesson was at MoKaBe's during the evening of and the early morning hours following the protests against the grand jury decision.
  14. From here on, this story will take clips and stills from this livestream from @Rebelutionary_Z for context. He was in the area during the first gassing of MoKaBe's and in the coffeehouse for the second. A timeline of the video, made to document the movements of the evening as well as the vocalized thoughts and conversations recorded, can be found below.
  15. Timeline of Events at MoKaBe's, 11/24/14 - Google Docs
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