anonymous

Last Saturday in Ferguson, Missouri, a reportedly white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown. The police claim the shooting was done in self-defense, but eyewitness accounts tell a very different story, one where an officer opened fire on a teen for little more than not getting out of the street quickly enough. Meanwhile, the St. Louis County Chief of Police maintains that a “physical confrontation” occurred, one that was initiated by Brown when the officer tried to exit the car.

Out of concern for the safety of the accused and his family, the Ferguson city police say they will withhold the name of the officer. But a group of hackers associated with the Anonymous movement say they already know the identity of the officer and are merely in the process of “verifying it.”

“We need to either talk to witnesses or get a second leak source,” tweeted an account called @OpFerguson. As for the first source, a “core” Anonymous member told Mother Jones’ Josh Harkinson, “I can only tell you that our source is very close personally to the officer who killed Mike Brown, and that this person is terrified to be our source.”

This comes two days after hackers shut down the Ferguson city website for much of Monday. Ferguson’s Chief of Police said that, in light of recent death threats, attacks on municipal websites would not change his decision to not release the officer’s name.

Even if the Anonymous hackers are bluffing or in possession of false information, the Chief’s standing firm may be for naught — The ACLU has threatened to sue the Ferguson police department if it does not release the name of the officer.

[image via wikimedia]