How A Local Politician Emerged As The Key Chronicler Of The Unrest In Missouri

Alderman Antonio French has captured the vigils and protests in Ferguson, Mo., after the fatal shooting of an unarmed 18-year-old black man by a police officer left the community reeling.

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For several nights now, the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson has been in chaos over the fatal shooting of an unarmed 18-year-old black man from the area.

That's me in the cloud of tear gas tweeting in #Ferguson.

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

That's me in the cloud of tear gas tweeting in #Ferguson.

3:21 AM - 12 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

French is a local politician, serving his first term as Alderman of the 21st Ward in St. Louis, which includes the neighborhoods Kingsway East, Greater Ville, O'Fallon, Penrose, and Mark Twain.

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He was born and raised in the ward he serves, according to his staff profile. It also says he is "one of the youngest city aldermen."

Before becoming alderman, French served the 21st Ward as the Democratic committeeman, and ran his own political consulting firm, which helped manage campaigns.

He has sponsored a bill since becoming Alderman that would hold politicians more accountable by requiring recordings and transcripts for all official meetings of city government, according to CBS's St. Louis affiliate.

As Alderman, French has also cleaned and restored the O’Fallon Park, and he launched a summer jazz concert series in the park in partnership with the local concert hall.

French has provided amazing coverage, posting photos and Vines with updates or just the words "Right now in #Ferguson" since the shooting happened on Saturday.

Follow the story on French's timeline, starting on Saturday:

“@stltoday: Fatal shooting by Ferguson police prompts mob reaction http://t.co/i5TFA94Q2a” "Mob"? You could also use the word "community".

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

“@stltoday: Fatal shooting by Ferguson police prompts mob reaction http://t.co/i5TFA94Q2a”

"Mob"? You could also use the word "community".

12:02 PM - 09 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Police have shut down all lanes of West Florissant at #Ferguson.

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

Police have shut down all lanes of West Florissant at #Ferguson.

1:09 PM - 09 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The mother of the boy killed in #Ferguson speaking to media about the loss of her son.

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

The mother of the boy killed in #Ferguson speaking to media about the loss of her son.

1:24 PM - 09 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Police have brought out the large gear in #Ferguson.

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

Police have brought out the large gear in #Ferguson.

1:25 PM - 09 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Tensions are high, but the scene is peaceful in #Ferguson.

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

Tensions are high, but the scene is peaceful in #Ferguson.

1:55 PM - 09 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The mother of #MikeBrown, the 17-year-old killed by #Ferguson police today, says her son was about to start at Vatterott College next week.

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

The mother of #MikeBrown, the 17-year-old killed by #Ferguson police today, says her son was about to start at Vatterott College next week.

3:04 PM - 09 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

People marching to the #Ferguson Police Dept headquarters following the killing of a 17-year-old boy.

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

People marching to the #Ferguson Police Dept headquarters following the killing of a 17-year-old boy.

2:18 PM - 09 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

People are gathering at the site where #Ferguson police killed 17-year-old #MikeBrown. Police have swarmed the area.

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

People are gathering at the site where #Ferguson police killed 17-year-old #MikeBrown. Police have swarmed the area.

3:25 PM - 09 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

People in the street shouting "No Justice, No Peace" and blocking a Kinloch police car from passing. #Ferguson

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

People in the street shouting "No Justice, No Peace" and blocking a Kinloch police car from passing. #Ferguson

3:32 PM - 09 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The crowd has forced the police car to reverse. #ferguson

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

The crowd has forced the police car to reverse. #ferguson

3:36 PM - 09 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Police cars trampled the rose petals and candles at the memorial for #MikeBrown.

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

Police cars trampled the rose petals and candles at the memorial for #MikeBrown.

4:02 PM - 09 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Right now in #Ferguson, MO following the killing of 17-year-old #MikeBrown

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

Right now in #Ferguson, MO following the killing of 17-year-old #MikeBrown

3:51 PM - 09 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

People are angry, frustrated but peaceful tonight in #Ferguson. The police dept's heavy handed approach made things worse. Leaving was good.

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

People are angry, frustrated but peaceful tonight in #Ferguson. The police dept's heavy handed approach made things worse. Leaving was good.

4:34 PM - 09 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

At the #Ferguson police dept headquarters

Sunday:

Still conflicting reports about death of the witness. Police say it's not true. Tempers are rising here in #Ferguson

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

Still conflicting reports about death of the witness. Police say it's not true. Tempers are rising here in #Ferguson

5:53 AM - 10 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The protest is turning into a memorial and moving from the #Ferguson Police HQ to the street where #MikeBrown was killed.

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

The protest is turning into a memorial and moving from the #Ferguson Police HQ to the street where #MikeBrown was killed.

6:22 AM - 10 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Sadness and anger at the site of #MikeBrown's killing in #Ferguson.

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

Sadness and anger at the site of #MikeBrown's killing in #Ferguson.

7:15 AM - 10 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Definitely a small group of young men here who are not trying to hear anything having to do with peace, prayer, or non-violence. #Ferguson

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

Definitely a small group of young men here who are not trying to hear anything having to do with peace, prayer, or non-violence. #Ferguson

8:47 AM - 10 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

A lot of frustration and misdirected anger right now in #Ferguson following killing of #MikeBrown by police.

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

A lot of frustration and misdirected anger right now in #Ferguson following killing of #MikeBrown by police.

8:35 AM - 10 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Rapper Tef_Poe, @tefpoe) and others speaking outside the #Ferguson police HQ.

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

Rapper Tef_Poe, @tefpoe) and others speaking outside the #Ferguson police HQ.

8:52 AM - 10 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The question is what outlet can we give these young men to let out their (justified) anger in a non-violent, constructive manner. Ideas?

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

The question is what outlet can we give these young men to let out their (justified) anger in a non-violent, constructive manner. Ideas?

9:04 AM - 10 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

A group of young men & women who were at the police HQ are now on the corner of W. Florissant and Ferguson with signs. Cars honking support.

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

A group of young men & women who were at the police HQ are now on the corner of W. Florissant and Ferguson with signs. Cars honking support.

9:23 AM - 10 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Cars honking support for young protestors in #Ferguson

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

Cars honking support for young protestors in #Ferguson

9:24 AM - 10 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Protestors have blocked West Florissant, a major street in St. Louis County. #Ferguson

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

Protestors have blocked West Florissant, a major street in St. Louis County. #Ferguson

11:39 AM - 10 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

At the site of the killing of #MikeBrown in #Ferguson

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

At the site of the killing of #MikeBrown in #Ferguson

12:22 PM - 10 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

People are blocking police and fire trucks from entering the area. Reportedly answering a call for a heart ...

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

People are blocking police and fire trucks from entering the area. Reportedly answering a call for a heart ...

12:27 PM - 10 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The crowd has let the police and fire trucks pass. Lots of kicking and hitting of police vehicles as they pass. #Ferguson

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

The crowd has let the police and fire trucks pass. Lots of kicking and hitting of police vehicles as they pass. #Ferguson

12:30 PM - 10 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The anger and tension is definitely worse than last night. #Ferguson

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

The anger and tension is definitely worse than last night. #Ferguson

12:43 PM - 10 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Angry men surrounded a tow truck driven by white driver. Started to open his door. 1st time I've had to intervene since I've been here.

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

Angry men surrounded a tow truck driven by white driver. Started to open his door. 1st time I've had to intervene since I've been here.

12:42 PM - 10 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Protestors shutting down West Florissant again.

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

Protestors shutting down West Florissant again.

2:48 PM - 10 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

A huge crowd at the site where #Ferguson Police killed #MikeBrown

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

A huge crowd at the site where #Ferguson Police killed #MikeBrown

2:55 PM - 10 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The mother of #MikeBrown receiving hugs and love tonight at the site where her son was killed yesterday

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

The mother of #MikeBrown receiving hugs and love tonight at the site where her son was killed yesterday

3:03 PM - 10 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The largest match so far. Headed to West Florissant.

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

The largest match so far. Headed to West Florissant.

3:15 PM - 10 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Trying to get the crowd to disburse before things get ugly. Some not happy about it.

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

Trying to get the crowd to disburse before things get ugly. Some not happy about it.

3:56 PM - 10 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Looting and chaos in #Ferguson right now.

The smell of smoke, the sound of helicopters, breaking glass and alarms. #Ferguson right now.

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

The smell of smoke, the sound of helicopters, breaking glass and alarms. #Ferguson right now.

5:58 PM - 10 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Lots of cars gathered at W. Florissant & Chambers, outside #Ferguson in neighboring Dellwood. Ppl yelling from cars. The helicopter is here.

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

Lots of cars gathered at W. Florissant & Chambers, outside #Ferguson in neighboring Dellwood. Ppl yelling from cars. The helicopter is here.

6:07 PM - 10 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Dobbs Tire has also been smashed into in Dellwood.

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

Dobbs Tire has also been smashed into in Dellwood.

6:27 PM - 10 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Police are now stationed at the Wal-Mart on W. Florissant to protect it from looters. #Ferguson

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

Police are now stationed at the Wal-Mart on W. Florissant to protect it from looters. #Ferguson

6:39 PM - 10 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Police armored vehicle driving down W. Florisant. "St. Louis police. Please return to your homes," they say.

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

Police armored vehicle driving down W. Florisant. "St. Louis police. Please return to your homes," they say.

6:59 PM - 10 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

SWAT outside Walgreens at W. Florisant and Chambers.

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

SWAT outside Walgreens at W. Florisant and Chambers.

7:37 PM - 10 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Monday:

#Ferguson mayor tells media that anyone who shows up to the rally this morning "will be arrested".

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

#Ferguson mayor tells media that anyone who shows up to the rally this morning "will be arrested".

3:00 AM - 11 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Police and protestors in #ferguson right now

Still a lot of anger today in #Ferguson

Young men asking why #MikeBrown wasn't tased instead of shot and killed by #Ferguson police

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

Young men asking why #MikeBrown wasn't tased instead of shot and killed by #Ferguson police

10:58 AM - 11 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Police from all area municipalities have turned the Target parking lot into a huge staging area. #Ferguson

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

Police from all area municipalities have turned the Target parking lot into a huge staging area. #Ferguson

2:29 PM - 11 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

More police on the scene. They are getting shotguns and rifles out of their trunks.

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

More police on the scene. They are getting shotguns and rifles out of their trunks.

3:14 PM - 11 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Small group of peaceful demonstrators at the #Ferguson Police Dept headquarters. "Don't shoot! Don't shoot!"

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

Small group of peaceful demonstrators at the #Ferguson Police Dept headquarters. "Don't shoot! Don't shoot!"

4:17 PM - 11 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Hearing the sound of police cock their rifles. Right now at W. Florissant and Chambers #ferguson

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

Hearing the sound of police cock their rifles. Right now at W. Florissant and Chambers #ferguson

4:41 PM - 11 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Right now at W. Florissant and Chambers #ferguson

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

Right now at W. Florissant and Chambers #ferguson

4:43 PM - 11 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Peaceful demonstration at the #Ferguson Police HQ. My fellow STL alderman @shanecohn, rapper @TefPoe, and #BAPS star Anisha are here.

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

Peaceful demonstration at the #Ferguson Police HQ. My fellow STL alderman @shanecohn, rapper @TefPoe, and #BAPS star Anisha are here.

5:25 PM - 11 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Shout out to @STLFireDept for being present in #STL County to help if needed. And thx @CFDstlfd for advising that milk helps with tear gas.

Antonio French@AntonioFrench

Shout out to @STLFireDept for being present in #STL County to help if needed. And thx @CFDstlfd for advising that milk helps with tear gas.

5:36 PM - 11 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

BuzzFeed reached out to French for this article, but did not immediately receive a response.

Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Hawaii.

Contact Michelle Broder Van Dyke at michelle@buzzfeed.com.

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