The US Department of Justice on Friday told the Ferguson, Missouri, Police Department to order its officers to stop wearing bracelets in support of Darren Wilson, the Ferguson cop who shot and killed unarmed black 18-year-old Michael Brown on August 9, Reuters reported.
Ferguson residents reported police officers wearing "I am Darren Wilson" bracelets during protests in the St. Louis suburb. The bracelets "upset and agitated" demonstrators and "reinforce the very 'us versus them' mentality that many residents of Ferguson believe exists," according to the Justice Department letter reviewed by Reuters.
Images of a police officer wearing the bracelets spread widely on social media earlier in the week, according to Talking Points Memo.
Protesters in Ferguson first took to the streets in August to demonstrate against the Brown shooting, which many saw as representative of police discrimination against the local black community. The situation calmed down for most of September, but the protests picked up in intensity again this past week after a Brown memorial near the site of the shooting burned down and Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson issued an apology video that many demonstrators perceived as too little, too late.