African American activist found dead in vehicle

African American activist found dead in vehicle

Washington, Sep 7 (IANS) The body of an activist from St. Louis who led protests about the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014 was found with a gunshot wound in the charred remains of a vehicle, police said.

The activist, Darren Seals, 29, was found inside the vehicle on Diamond Drive in Riverview at St. Louis around 1.50 a.m. on Tuesday, the police said in a statement. The vehicle was on fire and he was found after the flames were extinguished, the New York Times reported.

The police said Seals lived at an address on Millburn Drive in St. Louis, about 12 miles (19 km) from where his body was found. The case was being investigated as a homicide by the department’s Bureau of Crimes Against Persons. The motive for the killing was unknown.

Seals helped lead protests after Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed on August 9, 2014, by Darren Wilson, a white police officer, in Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis.

The shooting prompted protests that continued in the area for weeks. On November 24, 2014, the St. Louis police officials announced that a grand jury had decided not to indict Wilson and that announcement set off another wave of protests.

In an interview with MTV.com, Seals described the night the grand jury announcement was made. He said he was with Brown’s mother and some friends outside the Ferguson Police Department, the New York Times reported.

He said the decision not to indict the officer was “the ultimate slap in the face”.

“And for Mike Brown’s mother to be right there in my arms crying — she literally cried in my arms — it was like I felt her soul crying,” he said.

Seals led protests with the group Hands Up United, which was organising a campaign called Polls Ova Police, which sought to use this year’s elections to challenge police policies.

“The broken systems and policies that police enforce must be challenged,” the project said on its website. “We will not vote in favor of any candidate partnering with those who are not fighting for Black life. Polls Ova Police is the war cry of this generation.”

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