photo credit-Steve Brandon
St. Louis Police Chief Joe Mokwa announced Monday that a special law enforcement task-force has been assigned to the Christian Ferguson case.
He was 9 years old when he mysteriously disappeared from the SUV his father was driving, at a north St. Louis intersection, on June 11, 2003. Dawan Ferguson told police that Christian was in his car when it was stolen. Dawan had gotten out of his vehicle to use a pay phone at Skinker and Page. ...
So begins a story from the online site of KSDK, a TV station in St. Louis, Missouri. It's not unusual that the police would take a close look at such a case.
...Mokwa said the new task-force will consist of a sergeant, two detectives, two FBI agents, and a command officer. ...
which are a lot of resources to devote to just one case. What's even more unusual is that they are doing so in a case where the victim was poor, black, and severely physically and developmentally disabled (as far as I know he was not autistic, but you get the point).
In this case, the father of the child reported that he stopped to use a pay phone, and left the child in the car. While he was reportedly on the phone he says that the car was carjacked. The empty car was found two hours later a few miles away.
There were many inconsistencies in the story, such as the fact that the father had a cell phone in the car at the time, and a witness who reported seeing the car at the place where it was found at approximately the same time that it was reported stolen. The police reportedly never believed the father's story, but have turned up no evidence of foul play thus far.
I've been critical, as well as worried, regarding how society and law enforcement deal with the death and treatment of disabled individuals. So I have to be even handed and give props to Chief Mokwa of the St. Louis police department for pursuing this case, even though the family is not wealthy or politically connected, and even though the child was severely disabled. The world would be a better place if there were more such individuals who recognized the humanity in all individuals, and who were willing to stand up for those without the power or means to stand up for themselves.
Lastly, let's hope that anyone that knows anything with regards to what really happened will stand up and be counted.