‘Hands Up’ Protester Arrested for Allegedly Shooting Police Officers in Ferguson

AP / St. Louis County Police Department
AP / St. Louis County Police Department

On Sunday afternoon, three days after two police officers were shot, authorities in St. Louis County, Missouri, announced the arrest of 20-year-old “Hands Up” protester Jeffery Williams.

On Sunday, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch reported that Williams was charged with one count of firing a gun from a vehicle, two counts of assault in the first degree, and thee counts of armed criminal action.

Police report that public information led to Williams’s arrest. The info is reported to have led to a search warrant that was served on the suspect at his home where a .40 caliber handgun was discovered. The gun, prosecutors say, was “tied to the shell casings that were recovered” on the morning of the shooting.

McCulloch said that the tipster that gave them the information is eligible for the $10,000 reward authorities offered late last week.

Williams has an extensive criminal history but mostly of low-end crimes like theft.

McCulloch noted that Williams was on probation for receiving stolen property, and there was a previous warrant out for his arrest for violating parole seven months ago.

According to police, the suspect also has a history of attending protests in Ferguson, where he resides.

Williams has an extensive series of posts on his Facebook page where he celebrates Mike Brown and the rioting in Ferguson. He is also Facebook friends with Dorian Johnson, who is most well-known for falsifying his testimony about what happened on that fateful August day when Brown was shot and killed.

Several protest leaders, however, have disputed claims that Williams is one of them.

For one, Bishop Derrick Robinson, an area organizer, claimed that Williams wasn’t one of them. In fact, Robinson went so far as to claim that prosecutors and perhaps Williams himself were actively trying to make the protesters look bad.

“I asked him (Williams) why would he say that he was a protester because it makes us look bad–because so many things that we’ve done to rebuild our community. It sets us like five steps back to say that it was a protester who did it, but he admitted to me that he’d never protested,” Robinson said on Sunday.

In another case, protest leader Shaun King claimed on Twitter on Sunday that none of the protesters he knew had ever seen or heard of Williams.

This wasn’t the first time King floated conspiracy theories. On Thursday, immediately after the shooting, King indulged another conspiracy theory claiming that the shooting was a “false flag” effort meant to make the protesters look bad.

Authorities said that upon arrest, Williams claimed that he wasn’t shooting at police but at someone in the crowd with whom he had an issue.

Williams is being “held in lieu of $300,000 cash bail.”

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.


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