Ferguson police, city leaders receive death threats

FERGUSON, Mo. - Thousands of threats have been made against the Ferguson Police Department and the city council, and the hacker group Anonymous allegedly took down the city's internet and phone capabilities.

According to Captain Rick Henke of the Ferguson Police Department, calls have flooded the police station and city hall, with threats being made against the department and city council. No one has specifically been threatened, he said.

The police department conducted morning roll call to inform officers of these latest developments.

Henke said the city's website had been down for several hours. The police and fire department email system was disrupted as well.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III said information containing names, phone numbers and addresses of police officers and city leaders was made public on social media. City authorities and police are using a "phone chain" to communicate.

City hall has been closed Monday; only department heads will report to work. Many businesses along Florissant Road will remain closed, Knowles said.

Local religious leaders informed Knowles Sunday that Rev. Al Sharpton would be coming to Ferguson, and the mayor said he would meet with Sharpton and welcomes any help in calming the situation.

The mayor said the city has rebuilt after being hit by two tornadoes, so it will heal from this weekend's unfortunate incident.

"The people that were involved in this last night clearly were not looking for justice for this young man." Knowles said. "They were looking to incite problems, and we hope that cooler heads will prevail."

The mayor said firefighters had to be careful responding to the fire at a local QuikTrip due to security and safety concerns.

As for his own safety, Mayor Knowles said many of the threats made against him have come from elsewhere around the country. and that he has received support from within the community. And while his family is frightened, Knowles is not.

"This is a very trying time, but this is what I signed up for," he said.

Meanwhile, the mother of Michael Brown, the teenager shot and killed Saturday by a Ferguson police officer, has condemned the rioting and looting, saying it disrespects the memory of her son.

When asked how the officer involved in Brown's shooting viewed Sunday night's riots, Knowles said he was devastated. The mayor added that a name floating around online misidentifying the officer.


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