[T]he looters [are] leaderless men who under cover of nightly political protest target liquor stores, beauty-supply shops and other businesses with inventories easy to sell and in high demand.
Ferguson police officials would not quantify how many looters have been arrested since the Brown shooting but presented a Washington Post reporter with a stack of roughly 50 arrest reports. While some of those arrested for stealing are from Ferguson, a large number have addresses listed in Illinois or in Texas.
“It’s like looting tourism,” an officer commented as he showed the reports. He asked not to be named. “It’s like they are spending their gas money to come down here and steal.”
DeAndre Smith, fresh from looting the QuikTrip on a recent night, told reporters: “I’m proud of us. We deserve this, and this is what’s supposed to happen when there’s injustice in your community. St. Louis — not going to take this anymore.” [Emphasis added]
Many on the streets share that sentiment and feel, in terms of race relations, this city and its surrounding communities never emerged from the civil rights era. Two-thirds of Ferguson’s 21,000 residents are black, but only three of the police force’s 53 officers are.