Ferguson, Missouri has never been a place of simmering racial animus said Project 21 member Christopher Arps, a resident of the St. Louis area who is familiar with the town now in the national spotlight. Speaking about the police shooting there that took the life of resident Michael Brown — an action that sparked riots and looting in the majority-black suburb and brought national attention to it — Arps explained that a lot of the problems in Ferguson currently stem from a lack of information and an abuse of a tragic situation by opportunists.
On the 8/12/14 edition of “Real News” on Glenn Beck’s The Blaze TV network, Arps told host Tara Setmayer (also a Project 21 member) that there are “certain areas” in the largely middle-class community where there is a problem with crime and gang activity and where community-police relations are strained as a result. Ferguson as a whole and the St. Louis area, however, are not places he considers to be plagued by racial problems.
Arps also pointed out that the majority of those arrested for looting and rioting in the wake of the Brown shooting do not appear to be local residents. This gives credence to the suggestion that most of the mayhem and damage that has occurred in the wake of the shooting is by the hand of outsiders seeking to commit crimes of opportunity. He added that the situation is made increasingly tense by an overall “lack of information” that allows for idle speculation that has lead to extremist elements portraying the shooting as an execution.