Get ready for some major aftershocks from the epicenter of the Black Lives Matter movement. Police found a man dead from a gunshot wound in a burning car early yesterday morning. NBC News reports that police identified the victim later yesterday as Darren Seals, one of the original protest leaders in Ferguson after the police shooting of Michael Brown.
So far, police have no suspects and no motive for the homicide, which leaves the situation wide open for speculation:
A Missouri activist who led protests over the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson was found dead inside a burning vehicle, police said.
The St. Louis County Police Department said police are treating the death of Darren Seals as a homicide.
Seals, 29, described himself as a “fighter, leader” and “un-apologetically black” on his Twitter feed. He helped lead weeks-long protests over Brown’s Aug. 9, 2014 killing by a white police officer in the St. Louis suburb.
Local CBS affiliate KMOV reports that the bomb and arson unit will remain part of the probe:
Seals, 29, just recently posted a Facebook video claiming that police had drawn their guns on him:
Darren Seals, 29, was a factory line worker and hip-hop musician. Following the death of Mike Brown – an unarmed black teenager who was fatally shot by a white Ferguson police officer – Seals protested in the streets of Ferguson.
Seals was extremely vocal about issues surrounding Brown’s death and the St. Louis region. He was featured in national news outlets such as The Washington Post and Al Jazeera.
Seals recently uploaded a Facebook Live video sharing his own encounter with the Ferguson Police Department, saying police drew guns on him and his younger brother. Seals described himself on his Twitter profile as a “Businessman, Revolutionary, Activist, Unapologetically BLACK, Afrikan in AmeriKKKa, Fighter, Leader.”
Friends and family held a vigil for Seals last night without incident. St. Louis County police will face enormous pressure to solve this case quickly and convincingly in order to keep the peace in the community. Don’t be surprised if the Department of Justice starts peeking over their shoulders while they investigate the murder, too. The DoJ’s Civil Rights Division has already issued public findings of bias in the county’s justice systems, and this kind of flashpoint could provide them even more opportunities to probe the county’s inner workings.