The death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri has consumed headlines this week, with thousands of Americans in uproar over the shooting of the unarmed teen. Criticism of local law enforcement has been especially intense, with many blasting the official police response to protests – which has included, among other things, tear gas and rubber bullets – as too heavy-handed.
In response, Missouri governor Jay Nixon yesterday ordered the state highway patrol to take over security from Ferguson police. But a photo taken at the press conference announcing the handover has come under fire from Frank Ocean.
The Channel Orange musician posted the image on his Tumblr with these words:
"You see that black woman standing up there? I wonder if she was called to stand behind the governor because she’s black. I wonder if i’m supposed to think Missouri’s gov’t is pro-black because of her being stood up there with those other black men being all black and everything. I wonder if she was off the clock while she stood up there. If she was off the clock..then i wonder if she was getting paid for her time off like the guy who shot Michael 8 times. What’s that guy’s name by the way?"
Ferguson police have only just released the name of the officer who shot Michael Brown this morning, despite intense pressure from residents all this week. The officer has been named as Darren Wilson.
Ocean isn't the only musician to weigh in on the controversy surrounding Brown's death – on Wednesday, Killer Mike penned a heartfelt plea on his Instagram page for unity and understanding.