FERGUSON, Mo. — The online hacking group Anonymous has released the name of the man it believes to be the police officer who shot and killed unarmed teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., over the weekend.
Brown’s death has sparked protests in the city since his death Saturday. The city police department had refused to disclose the name of the officer, citing fears of retribution by an angry public.
In a brazen act of protest, vigilantes claiming to be members of Anonymous gave the Ferguson police department an ultimatum: Release the name or we will.
The “Operation Ferguson” group went through with its promise Thursday morning.
In its typical fashion, Anonymous has been waging a digital battle on Twitter. It started with demands for the officer’s name. Then the group hacked the police department’s computers and obtained audio files of police dispatches.Thursday morning, it posted the home address, Social Security number and phone number of St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar.
Then, at about 8 a.m. CDT, the group released the name of the officer it believes was responsible for Brown’s death.
But the escalation continues. The group is demanding a response from St. Louis County police. If none arrives, the group is threatening to release the officer’s photo at 10 a.m. CT, his address at noon and more personal details later in the day.
In a YouTube video, the Anonymous group issued this warning: “If you attack the protestors, we will attack every server and computer you have. We will … release the personal information on every single member of the Ferguson police department as well as any other jurisdiction that participates in the abuse.”