Anonymous hacks Ferguson, Mo., police site for dispatch tapes

The hacking collective publishes hours of alleged police dispatch tapes on Twitter and YouTube from the day unarmed teenager Michael Brown was shot to death by police in a St. Louis suburb.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read


Speculation has been circling around police procedures during and after the shooting of an unarmed teenager last weekend in Ferguson, Mo. Now, Anonymous is apparently trying to shine a light on police involved in the incident.

The hacking group allegedly got its hands on police dispatch tapes. On Wednesday, Anonymous released a slew of details from police dispatch calls from the day of the shooting on Twitter and posted hours of tape to YouTube.

"#Anonymous has obtained audio files of police dispatch and EMS during the #MikeBrown shooting," Anonymous boasted from its @TheAnonMessage Twitter account.

Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager, was shot multiple times by a local police officer on Saturday. The shooting happened around 1:40 p.m. and Brown's body was left on the sidewalk for hours afterward. The Ferguson police have since been accused of racism and become the focus of intense criticism and violent protests.

St. Louis County Police have taken over the investigation into the Brown shooting. The name of the officer involved in the shooting hasn't been released.

According to the dispatch tapes released by Anonymous, the police allegedly requested assistance for crowd control before mentioning any shooting or calling in for emergency medical services. The dispatcher in the tapes also mentions that the department got information about the shooting from the news, rather than from police at the scene.

It's unclear whether the tapes are authentic. CNET has contacted the St. Louis County Police to verify their authenticity and for comment. We will update the story when we get more information.

Anonymous has hacked into police departments in the past. Sometimes the group looks for information to publish. Other times it just wants to take down police websites -- as it did in Utah and Illinois in 2012. In June 2011, a branch of Anonymous, LulzSec, released emails and other information from the Arizona Department of Public Safety in response to the department's "anti-immigrant" policies.

(Via Mother Jones)