Jefferson City, MO – U.S. Representative Cori Bush (D-Missouri) is in the hot seat after she claimed on Twitter Monday that she and others protesting for Michael Brown at Ferguson in 2014 were shot at by white supremacists.
Bush tweeted the incendiary remark just as the murder trial of 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse was wrapping up in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Nov. 15, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
The Kenosha County jury deciding Rittenhouse’s fate began deliberating on Tuesday morning.
“When we marched in Ferguson, white supremacists would hide behind a hill near where Michael Brown Jr. was murdered and shoot at us,” Bush tweeted. “They never faced consequences.”
“If Kyle Rittenhouse gets acquitted, it tells them that even 7 years later they still can get away with it,” the lawmaker added.
When we marched in Ferguson, white supremacists would hide behind a hill near where Michael Brown Jr. was murdered and shoot at us.
They never faced consequences.
If Kyle Rittenhouse gets acquitted, it tells them that even 7 years later they still can get away with it.
— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) November 15, 2021
It’s not the first time that Black Lives Matter activists have reference white supremacy in connection with the Rittenhouse trial.
However, Rittenhouse and all three of the men that he shot were white, and allegations of racism have not surfaced at any point during the trial.
But Bush, who rose to political prominence in the wake of the riots in Ferguson, felt there was a connection, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
“While on the frontlines of the Ferguson Uprising, Congresswoman Bush and other activists were shot at by white supremacist vigilantes,” the lawmaker’s campaign officer said in a statement released on Monday night.
“The question we need to ask is why white supremacists feel empowered to open-carry rifles, incite violence, and put Black lives at risk across our country,” the statement continued.
But authorities have questioned the veracity of Bush’s tweet, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Ferguson Police Chief Frank McCall Jr. said he wasn’t away of a record of any such incident actually occurring.
“None that I’m aware of,” Chief McCall said and added that he wasn’t any similar incidents that Bush might have been referencing in her tweet, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The chief took the helm of the Ferguson Police Department in July.
Bush was also inaccurate in her claim that Brown was murdered because local authorities and the U.S. Department of Justice concluded after multiple investigations that former Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson shot Brown in self-defense, FOX News reported.
Many in the Twittersphere clapped back at the Missouri lawmaker and accused her of making things up.
“This is false and ignominious. Your colleagues should condemn you. Jeffrey Williams was arrested, charged & convicted for that shooting during the protest/riots. He was aiming at police & shot two officers,” journalist Andy Ngo tweeted.
Rep. Cori Bush, a Democrat, spreads disinformation about a “white supremacist” shooting in Ferguson she says she survived.
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) November 15, 2021
Williams was found guilty of shooting two police officers during the 2015 protests in Ferguson in December of 2016 and sentenced to 25 years in prison, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
The shootings occurred when protesters were gathered outside the Ferguson Police Department for an anticipated resignation announcement from then Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson.
Just as the crowd started to disperse, gunfire erupted from about 125 yards away, directed at the police station, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Two officers were shot, but recordings of jail phone calls showed that Williams told someone that he was shooting at people he was beefing with, not the police.
“Nobody aiming at no police,” Williams said in the recording. “I ran up the hill and he [an unidentified person] shot at the car. … I shot back.”
His attorney, Jerryl Christmas, said Williams claimed that someone else in the car with him did the shooting, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
“It was really just a fluke that these officers were shot,” Christmas explained.
But other activists have insisted that Bush’s recollection white supremacists hunting black people at the Ferguson protests was legitimate, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
“I vividly remember hiding under porches in Canfield as shots were fired at us,” activist Ohun Ashe replied to the congresswoman’s tweet. “No one came to help us. Ferguson police would be nearby. We would come from under porches using cars as shields in between gun shots to make it out.”
Heather De Mian told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that she was there and remembered somebody shooting at protesters but she didn’t know who was firing at them.
“I can’t tell you who shot at us, but it was semi-auto gunfire from the hill behind Canfield where a group of us were socializing in the street around the Mike Brown memorial,” De Mian recalled. “At least 10 shots went off before I could wheel behind a car. I couldn’t tell you how many more after that, but a lot. It was on Martin Luther King Day in 2015.”
Were you marching with Jussie Smollet? https://t.co/DJLruhvfLS
— Ellen Carmichael (@ellencarmichael) November 16, 2021
But despite that support, many social media users criticized Bush’s claims and even compared her to Jussie Smollett, who is accused of faking a racist attack on himself in Chicago.