Ferguson, Day 8: Tear Gas Deployed, Shots Fired As Protestors Defy Curfew
Seven protesters were arrested in Ferguson, MO, early Sunday morning for defying the curfew put in place by Gov. Jay Nixon as protests over the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown entered their eighth day.
The looting came after police suddenly and swiftly ordered protesters to disperse early Saturday morning, which, as witnesses said, caused a schism between peaceful protesters who protected store fronts and the looters.
According to the Huffington Post, Capt. Ron Johnson, the head of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, who was put in charge of managing the protests Wednesday, said no tear gas would be used to enforce the curfew. Put that tidbit in your memory bank for later.
Gov. Nixon's decision proved controversial, but he also had support from Antonio French, the St. Louis Alderman who has emerged as an on-the-ground authority thanks to his prolific use of social media.
Leaders from the community will be out to clear the streets by midnight. Anyone here after that WILL NOT have the support of the community.— Antonio French (@AntonioFrench) August 16, 2014
French Tweeted that the protest Saturday would start on 5 p.m.
"We have to be our own security tonight," Malik Shabazz. Brothers meet at QT at 5:00. https://t.co/b8RgtjvAwz— Antonio French (@AntonioFrench) August 16, 2014
From there, protesters marched peacefully.
As midnight drew closer, tensions arose.
People needing to leave the area before midnight, both north and south exit points will be open to traffic on W. Florissant.— St. Louis County PD (@stlcountypd) August 17, 2014
30 minutes to midnight. Crowds have moved mostly north to Canfield and Florissant. "Get ready to gear up," I hear protester say. #Fergurson— Nicholas J.C. Pistor (@nickpistor) August 17, 2014
Midnight came, though, with no sign of conflict.
So far... no arrests, no conflict... it is 12:02AM #Ferguson— Operation Ferguson (@OpFerguson) August 17, 2014
About 75 to 100 protesters remained after midnight, according to one account.
According to Live Streams - still a large group of protests on site chanting "Hands up don't shoot!" #Ferguson— Operation Ferguson (@OpFerguson) August 17, 2014
Around 1 a.m. CST, the police started to move in.
Police now saying "gas, gas, gas" and putting on gas masks. #Ferguson— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) August 17, 2014
Police line moving forward. https://t.co/YZeSfat7tc— Antonio French (@AntonioFrench) August 17, 2014
Tear gas was used. Here's AP video:
About that tear gas:
Should be noted, Ron Johnson said earlier today no tear gas or trucks would be used to enforce the curfew. http://t.co/5RdKN4g14d— Paige Lavender (@paigelav) August 17, 2014
Reports initially indicated that smoke, not gas, was used. However...
I tasted it and this was a lie RT @mattdpearce Police liaison tells press it's all been smoke, not gas.— Jon Swaine (@jonswaine) August 17, 2014
Police in Ferguson confirm they fired tear gas canisters on protesters defying a curfew: http://t.co/sORCVkl6Wb— The Associated Press (@AP) August 17, 2014
Here's something that's frightening:
Meanwhile, news in the Brown story keeps breaking. CNN just reported that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has ordered a second autopsy on Michael Brown's body. Anonymous released dispatch tapes from the calls of Michael Brown's shooting. A Grand Jury is expected to be put in place soon.
. And a Missouri State Senator called for the resignation of the Ferguson Police Chief.