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Cori Bush Says White Supremacists Shot at Protesters in Ferguson, Never Faced Consequences

Newsweek logo Newsweek 11/16/2021 Lora Korpar
FILE - U.S. Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., posted on Twitter and Facebook on Monday, Nov. 15, that during the protests following Brown's death, “white supremacists would hide behind a hill near where Michael Brown Jr. was murdered and shoot at us.” Many people responded by questioning if that really happened. Above, Bush speaks during an interview Friday, Nov. 12, in Northwoods, Mo. © Jeff Roberson, file/AP Photo FILE - U.S. Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., posted on Twitter and Facebook on Monday, Nov. 15, that during the protests following Brown's death, “white supremacists would hide behind a hill near where Michael Brown Jr. was murdered and shoot at us.” Many people responded by questioning if that really happened. Above, Bush speaks during an interview Friday, Nov. 12, in Northwoods, Mo.

Representative Cori Bush claimed on social media that white supremacists shot at her and other protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, and never faced consequences, the Associated Press reported.

The Ferguson protests followed the August 9, 2014, shooting of 18-year-old Black man Michael Brown by a white police officer, Darren Wilson. The officer was never charged, choosing to resign in November of the same year.

Bush, a Democrat from Missouri, rose to prominence as a Black Lives Matter activist, joining protesters who took to the streets when Wilson was not charged.

In response to the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, who fatally shot two people and wounded one during a racial injustice protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Bush posted a statement to Facebook and Twitter on Monday.

"When we marched in Ferguson, white supremacists would hide behind a hill near where Michael Brown Jr. was murdered and shoot at us," Bush wrote. "They never faced consequences. If Kyle Rittenhouse gets acquitted, it tells them that even 7 years later they still can get away with it."

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Ferguson Police Chief Frank McCall Jr. did not respond to requests for comment from AP on Tuesday but told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he was not aware of any incidents like the one Bush was describing.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

McCall was named chief in July. At the time of the Ferguson protests, he worked in neighboring Berkeley, Missouri.

Some people responded to Bush's comments on social media by accusing her of lying. A campaign spokeswoman, in a statement, didn't back down.

"While on the frontlines of the Ferguson Uprising, Congresswoman Bush and other activists were shot at by white supremacist vigilantes. The question we need to ask is why white supremacists feel empowered to open-carry rifles, incite violence, and put Black lives at risk across our country," the statement read.

Bush's campaign also provided a link to an activist's Facebook posting in January 2015. He wrote that after a march that ended near where Brown was killed, "someone tried to take us (the movement) out. Kill us. Stop us." The tweet said more than 20 shots were fired, smashing the back window of a car and grazing a female protester.

A local news report at the time said police investigated but found nothing. It wasn't immediately clear if any arrests were ever made.

St. Louis-area activist Ohun Ashe, on Twitter, confirmed Bush's account.

"This is FACTS! I vividly remember hiding under porches in Canfield as shots were fired at us," she wrote, referring to Canfield Apartments, near where Brown was killed. "No one came to help us. Ferguson police would be nearby. We would come from under porches using cars as shields in between gun shots to make it out."

Days after Brown's death, the Southern Poverty Law Center warned that Ku Klux Klan entities in at least three states planned to be in Ferguson.

Several armed members of the Oath Keepers, a group labeled as extremist by some hate-watchdog organizations, spent time in Ferguson, even though St. Louis County's then-police chief, Jon Belmar, called their presence "both unnecessary and inflammatory."

No known members of either the KKK or the Oath Keepers were charged in any shootings.

U.S. Rep. Cori Bush rose to prominence as a Black Lives Matter activist, attending protests against the killing of Michael Brown in 2014. Above, Bush leads protesters against police brutality on June 12, 2020 in University City, Missouri. Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images © Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images U.S. Rep. Cori Bush rose to prominence as a Black Lives Matter activist, attending protests against the killing of Michael Brown in 2014. Above, Bush leads protesters against police brutality on June 12, 2020 in University City, Missouri. Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images

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