Protesters at a St. Louis church organized this week to continue their efforts in support of slain Ferguson teenager Mike Brown, but during the protest in question, a man was allegedly chased down and beaten by some of the demonstrators.
According to reports, the victim Chris Schaefer, a student at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, was allegedly chased from the church where the demonstration was taking place and beaten outside for taping the meeting with his cell phone. The “Justice For Mike Brown” Facebook page confirmed the incident in a post yesterday evening.
“The meeting started at around 7:30 and I got there a little late and sat down front,” said Patricia Bynes, a notable protester. “I was listening to what was going on and, all of a sudden, somebody yells out, 'There's a phone off the hook!' Others started repeating it, and then I see some members of the Lost Voices moving towards this young man.”
Bynes says that some members of the Lost Voices group began to chase Schaefer outside before cornering and beating him.
“They got him up against the wall. I couldn't really see what was happening to him but I assumed he was getting beaten up,” Bynes said.
“If we're going to hold police accountable for beating us, we need to hold ourselves accountable for incidents like this,” said Bynes. “I'm not saying all the Lost Voices were involved, but those that weren't need to get their group under control because they have gotten increasingly violent lately.”
Bynes says that prior to and at the beginning of the meeting, protesters were asked to refrain from recording the happenings, but as she claims, “Apparently, this young man did not get the message or chose to ignore it.”
24-year-old Schaefer later took video of himself in the hospital and posted it online to confirm that he was the one attacked during demonstration.
“I was not live streaming at this meeting,” Schaefer claimed in the video. “I did nothing wrong. I have been a peaceful protester and live streaming, just trying to protect people from getting hurt who are protesting. Maybe they thought I was a cop or they thought I was live streaming something that shouldn't have been live streamed. I got hit pretty badly in many different places — my head, my hands, my sides, my stomach, and my legs.”
Schaefer doesn’t seem to blame the movement as a whole for what happened to him, acknowledging that, “Unfortunately, there's always a few bad apples.”
Police are currently investigating the incident and are looking for suspects.