The FBI surveilled slain racial justice and anti-violence activist Darren Seals before his death, a 900-page, heavily redacted file shows, according to a report by the Riverfront Times.
Seals rose to fame during the protests in response to the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014. He was an outspoken critic of police brutality and Black Lives Matter, the latter of whom he accused of profiting from the death of young Black people.
In September 2016, Seals was found shot to death in a burned car. He was only 29 and his murder still hasn’t been solved. Many have speculated that law enforcement was involved in his death and now a new report is reviving those theories.
The Riverfront Times reported an extensive FBI file says local police “investigatively detained” Seals for 20 minutes during a traffic stop at the bureau’s request in June 2016. “Traffic warrants for subject’s arrest remain active if additional car stops are deemed merited,” the file further states.
The mostly redacted file on Seals refers to him as “a self-described revolutionary who has espoused somewhat militant rhetoric and has access to weapons.”
The FBI file also references Seals’ murder and the theories surrounding it, the report states.
“SEALS was found shot to death and burned in his known vehicle on 9/6/2016. [redacted] Police Department is investigating the matter as a homicide,” the report says. “The investigative plan will be to [redacted] homicide of SEALS because it is anticipated that violent protests may be generated by his death as conspiracy theories are already forming that Seals was killed by the police because of his black lives matter affiliations.”
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Some Twitter users reacted to the news.
“Weren’t Tupac and Biggie under FBI surveillance as well? Weird how the FBI surveillance seems to be able to record all of your movements and conversations but conveniently takes the night off on the night of your murder,” user @WiseTakes wrote.
“Bruh was targeted. Our country has a history of targeting and killing Black people who actively works towards bettering the community,” @Curls2DaCulture responded.
“This sh*t was wild to watch play out in real life cuz bruh was righteous tryna tell us and if you believed bruh they called you a hotep on here and slandered you cuz they wanted to ride with those 3 on here from blm,” @CourtneeHendrix tweeted.
“Darren Seals was not the only activist who was surveilled and died under suspicious circumstances,” @tillwefree tweeted. “We need to talk more about what happened to local activist in ferguson who were there from the beginning.”