The situation in Ferguson is very tense. But it seemed particularly tense for one police officer on Tuesday night, who aimed his rifle at protesters while shouting obscenities and death threats before being told to calm down by what appear to be fellow officers:
If a non-officer did this, it would be a crime.
This one officer's actions don't represent the entire police presence in Ferguson. As the Huffington Post's Amanda Terkel points out, some cops are doing a good job working with media and protesters to try to de-escalate the situation.
But consistently in Ferguson, the situation needlessly escalates after police officers overreact — even during circumstances as silly as a protester throwing a water bottle. This police officer is a clear example of that overreaction.
Update: KMOV's Laura Hettiger reports that the officer was "relieved of duty and suspended indefinitely."
To learn more about the protests in Ferguson, read the full explainer, the full timeline, and watch the two-minute video below: