Police in riot gear forced protesters off the street and cuffed 23 others Monday night in Ferguson, Mo. after more than a hundred arrests earlier in the day.
A total of 144 protesters were arrested in demonstrations in Ferguson, outside the federal courthouse in nearby St. Louis and on a local highway, according to the St. Louis County Police Department. Authorities declared a state of emergency a day after the one-year anniversary of the death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in a struggle with a Ferguson officer.
One officer was struck in the chest with a chunk of concrete Monday night, but his protective vest prevented any injuries. There were no reports of injuries, gun shots or property damage in the protest near the scene of Brown’s death.
But police said protesters threw frozen water bottles, empty bottles and rocks at officers after 9 p.m. in the second consecutive night of clashes. Gunfire rang out on W. Florissant Ave. on Sunday night and police critically wounded a man who allegedly opened fire on four plainclothes detectives.
“They’re not going to take the street tonight,” said St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar. “That’s not going to happen.”
The demonstrators retreated to the sidewalk at around 11 p.m. after Belmar spoke with protest leaders. Videos from the scene show several of the leaders telling the crowd to move back.
Officers had commanded the crowd out of the roadway with bullhorns. Several people were arrested for “resisting/interfering,” county police said on Twitter.
“Safety, our top priority, is now compromised,” the department Tweeted. “This is no longer a peaceful protest. Participants are now unlawfully assembled.”
County police said they were still confirming the total number of arrests made Monday night. They denied protester accounts that they arrested a 12-year-old girl, saying the girl appeared young but her ID showed she is 18.
Michael Brown’s father thanked protesters for their support throughout the weekend.
“Our marches were all done very peacefully,” Michael Brown Sr. wrote on Facebook. “So please be careful, mindful and protect yourselves from those who would like to see this be unsuccessful.”
SOURCE: Tobias Salinger
New York Daily News