This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 22 May, 2019
Advertisement

Police fire smoke and tear gas at defiant Ferguson protesters

Despite the curfew being put into place by the governor, some protesters remained on the streets.

APTOPIX Police Shooting Missouri Source: AP

POLICE SAID THEY fired smoke and tear gas canisters into a crowd of defiant protesters who gathered in a St. Louis suburb earlier today where a black teen had been shot by a white police officer while walking down the street.

One person was shot and is in critical condition. Several people have been arrested.

Source: LSUDVM/YouTube

Hundreds of other protesters left peacefully before the midnight to 5am deadline took effect in Ferguson, Missouri, where 18-year-old Michael Brown had been shot last week.

But remaining protesters — chanting “No justice! No curfew!” — refused to leave the area.

As five armored tactical vehicles approached the crowd, officers spoke through a loudspeaker:

You are in violation of a state-imposed curfew. You must disperse immediately. Failure to comply, may result in arrest.

As officers put on gas masks, a chant from the distant crowd emerged:

We have the right to assemble peacefully.

A moment later, police began firing canisters into the crowd of protesters.

Police Shooting Missouri Source: AP

Highway Patrol Spokesman Lt. John Hotz initially said police only used smoke, but later told The Associated Press that they also fired tear gas canisters. He said of police efforts: “Obviously, we’re trying to give them every opportunity to comply with the curfew.”

Canisters

Jayson Ross, who was leading the protesters toward police before the canisters were fired, said: “They got guns. We got guns. We are ready.”

The unrest between police and protesters came after Gov. Jay Nixon on Saturday declared a state of emergency in Ferguson.

Nixon’s curfew announcement came after tensions again flared in Ferguson late Friday night.

Earlier that day, local police identified the officer who shot Brown as Darren Wilson and released documents and video footage alleging that Brown had robbed a convenience store just before he was shot.

Police Shooting Missouri People defy the curfew that was put in place overnight. Source: AP/Press Association Images

 

Police said Wilson was unaware Brown was a suspect when he encountered him walking in the street with a friend.

As the curfew approached late Saturday night, New Black Panther Party leader Malik Shabazz roamed the street with a bullhorn, encouraging people to leave for their own safety. Many appeared to follow his suggestion.

“C’mon you all, let’s roll out,” Shabazz said through his bullhorn. “Let’s roll out of here, get some rest and come back tomorrow.”

Crowds that were in the hundreds prior to the curfew had dwindled significantly in the final hour.

Keyon Watkins, a 26-year-old computer science worker from St. Louis, said on Saturday that if many others stayed in the street, he would join them.

“All of this is just building up — pent-up aggression by being mistreated on a daily basis,” Watkins said.

Police Shooting Missouri Source: AP/Press Association Images

In announcing the curfew, Nixon said that though many protesters were making themselves heard peacefully, the state would not allow looters to endanger the community.

“I am committed to making sure the forces of peace and justice prevail,” Nixon said during a press conference at a church that was interrupted repeatedly by people objecting to the curfew and demanding that the officer who shot Brown be charged with murder.

“We must first have and maintain peace. This is a test. The eyes of the world are watching,” Nixon said. “We cannot allow the ill will of the few to undermine the good will of the many.”

State statute gives the governor broad powers when he declares a state of emergency, but he hasn’t indicated that he plans to do anything other than imposing the curfew and empowering the state highway patrol to enforce it.

Meanwhile, Nixon said the U.S. Department of Justice is beefing up its civil rights investigation of the shooting.

Read: State of emergency and curfew imposed in Ferguson to quell violent protests>

Read: Stores looted after police say slain US teen is robbery suspect>

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

Associated Press

Read next:

COMMENTS (73)