Who Is Tony Rice AKA Twitter User Search4Swag? The Longtime Ferguson Protester Continues To Share Crucial Posts — VIDEO
During the latest round of Ferguson protests that happened during the one-year anniversary of the shooting death of Michael Brown, one protester was on the front lines and captured some compelling video of confrontations with police. But who is Tony Rice, aka Twitter user Search4Swag, and how did he get the shocking video that shows an injured handcuffed man lying on the ground? Turns out he's been part of the on-the-ground scene in Ferguson since last summer's protests.
Rice told The Washington Post that when the violence erupted early Monday morning, after a relatively peaceful Sunday, the protest had seemed to be winding down. "And next thing you know, gunshots rang out." He relayed what he saw after the shooting stopped:
By the time the gunshots died down, I stood up and looked, there’s another lady out there yelling that someone had been shot. As I approached, sure enough, there’s a body on the ground.
Rice is heard yelling at officers in the video. It's not clear whether the man lying on the ground is indeed Tyrone Harris, Jr., who the St. Louis Post-Dispatch identified as a friend and former classmate of Michael Brown. Harris was reported in critical condition after an alleged shootout with police, the Post-Dispatch reported.
Rice was detained himself for a time early Monday, for "failure to disperse," according to Jamilah Lemieux, a senior digital editor at Ebony.
And the video wasn't the only disturbing insight Rice shared from the scene of the protests in Ferguson. He was on the front lines of a protest that shut down part of Interstate 70 Monday evening.
According to the Post, Rice quit his job not long after Michael Brown's death, to be part of the protests in Ferguson that had begun to build momentum even before the grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson, the white officer who shot Brown, on criminal charges.
Over the past year, as the focus on Ferguson died down, Rice joined other Black Lives Matter activists around the country, the Post reported. Through his actions and his constant presence in Ferguson, Rice became something of a spokesman for the loosely-organized protest groups, according to the Post-Dispatch. And with demonstrations erupting once again in Ferguson, he's returned as a watchful eye on the protests and the police.