Ferguson, Mo. – Tuesday night, Missouri State Highway patrolman, Ray Albers was caught on camera pointing his weapon at journalists and threatening to kill them. When asked to identify himself, he responded,
“Go [email protected]#k yourself.”
On Wednesday, the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri sent a letter to Colonel Ron Replogle, the Missouri State Highway Patrol superintendent, requesting the identity of the offending officer and his removal.
With a rapid response, a Missouri State Highway Patrol representative on Wednesday afternoon contacted the ACLU to report that the officer had been identified and removed from duty in Ferguson. Officer Albers has been placed on indefinite suspension, and has been identified as a St. Ann officer.
While glad to see such swift action taken in identifying and removing this jackboot thug from Ferguson, there should be penalties commensurate with his actions.
For an officer to point a loaded weapon at journalists, while threatening to kill them, for simply attempting to inform the American public about what is transpiring on the streets of Ferguson, then when asked to identify himself, refusing in the most profane of ways, shows just how unfit this man is to be a law enforcement officer.
Not only should he be removed from Ferguson, he should be removed from being a law enforcement officer for the rest of his life and be prosecuted. He has shown himself not to have the temperament or pedigree necessary for his line of work and needs to be held accountable for his actions.
It’s officers like this that create an atmosphere of intimidation, fear, and violence, which has in turn caused a massive mistrust of law enforcement, where many now see cops as the enemy of freedom.
Violating the 1st Amendment rights of journalists by threatening them with death needs to be dealt with in the most harsh manner, if not, we are no different than the most despotic regimes in the world.
Is this America or North Korea?
Jay Syrmopoulos is an investigative journalist, freethinker, researcher, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs. Jay’s work has previously been published on BenSwann.com and WeAreChange.org. You can follow him on Twitter @sirmetropolis and on Facebook at Sir Metropolis.