FERGUSON (KMOV.com) – A group known as “Fact Check Ferguson” is launching an effort to quash false rumors that may lead to violence in Ferguson.
Fact Check Ferguson is made up of clergy, local leaders, and others who have been participating in protests. Organizers say the goal of the effort is to make sure people are safe during protests while still making sure their voices are heard.
“I don’t think that getting the information out to them is going to be hard,” said Ferguson Township Committee Woman Patricia Bynes. “It’s maybe trying to build some of the trust of letting them know ‘come to the table, let’s talk.”
Bynes, who has been participating in the protests since Michael Brown was shot, said she does not want to see violence or people being told by police that they can’t demonstrate. Bynes said volunteers with Fact Check Ferguson will be on the lookout for problems during protests, including the spread of bad information.
“Wrong information in the right or wrong hands can very determinate because people move off what they believe they know or have heard,” said Zacheriah Davis with Clergy United.
Davis cites an incident in late September when rumor spread that a police officer was killed during a gun fight. In reality, an officer had been shot in the arm while on patrol in an area not in the protest zone.
“When you have groups and coalitions who are protesting who are angry with the police, it causes them to rush to the scene,” Davis said.
Davis said some groups have agreed to help Fact Check Ferguson, while others have not.
“In order for us to move forward, we are going to have to come together as a collective and move in unison on certain things,” Bynes said.