For the past week the city of Ferguson, Missouri, has been in a heightened state of tension and alert. Community leaders have been organizing at churches to try to handle whatever the grand jury may decide. However, at one particular church, things got way out of hand. According to law enforcement and community leaders, a strategy meeting turned violent this past Thursday.
A meeting was held at Greater St. Mark Missionary Church near Ferguson when Chris Schaefer, a student at the University of Missouri — St. Louis, was noticed with his smart phone in his hand. Instructions were given at the start of the meeting that there would be no use of phones, cameras or recording devices during the meeting. According to witness statements, a group of protesters known as the Lost Voices began saying, “There’s a phone off the hook.” Schaefer was soon surrounded by members of the group who then chased him out of the church.
According to one witness, Patricia Bynes, “They had him up against the wall. I couldn’t really see what was happening to him but I assumed he was getting beaten up.” Schaefer was able to break away from the group and run into a nearby Walgreens. Police responded to the scene and Schaefer told them that five or six men had dragged him from St. Mark’s Church and beat him in the head and body.
This allegation was denied outside the headquarters of the Lost Voices by member Bud Cuz who stated, “I was at the meeting and I didn’t see anyone get beat. I can tell you that [Schaefer] was told specifically at the start of the meeting: no cameras, no pictures and no recording.” After being transported to the hospital, Schaefer live streamed from his hospital bed his version of events. In addition, Schaefer has set up a website to help cover the costs of his medical bills. His video can be seen below: