When there’s no story, there’s no news. In fact, journalists were getting bored through the evening and some even packed up their gear and left West Florissant. Other than a fight between a couple of young men in front of The Burger Bar, it was a rather uneventful evening. It was really a nice change of pace compared to the chaos that has been going on for the last week and a half. There were reports on the police scanner of shots being fired throughout the evening, however none of them seemed to be related to the current situation. Protesters seemed to be in sync with local law enforcement.
Although the protests show no sign of stopping any time soon, throughout the evening, there were protesters peacefully assembling on W. Florissant in Ferguson, Missouri. Volunteers handed out water to the protesters and the journalists on the scene. There were even some activists who set up a voter registration table so protesters could make their voices heard in elections as well as on the street. Captain Johnson of the Ferguson Police was seen throughout the evening trying to bridge the gap with protesters.
One protester interviewed said, “We’re out here because we’re hurt…and no one has said we’re sorry for your loss.”
Another protester overheard talking to someone is quoted as saying “We tore it up together, let’s clean it up together.”
Other protesters were marching with signs chanting things like “Hands up, don’t shoot. We will protest, cause we don’t loot!” and “One Voice! Mike Brown! What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!”. There was also a new chant we hadn’t heard before: “No justice, no peace. No racist police.”
A large group of about 100 protesters arrived early in the evening at the Ferguson Police Department, but there was no incident.
Some of the protesters even stopped marching long enough to take photos with one another, continuing on chanting “We young, we strong, we marching all night long.”
Then along comes the “Peace Train”. The police did not allow the owner to drive it around the streets because it was not street legal, however, he would drive it through the local parking lots playing Marvin Gaye, helping to keep protesters calm during the evening.
By 11:00PM (CST) things were still quiet and people were still peacefully marching and cooperating with local police. Some people were even going home without incident.
Police seemed to be as laid back as the protesters were this evening as much improved police tactics were used tonight in Ferguson. That is until, out of nowhere, the police formed a line and started randomly clearing parking lots and telling protesters to return to the sidewalks and pushing people INTO the streets. Protesters did fall back, with one saying “It’s a trap! They are trying to get us to retaliate.”
A member of Peace Keepers told protesters, “Let’s not give the press entertainment tonight.”
Needless to say, tensions started getting high when police took action without warning or reason, but things quickly got calm again as a man walked down the police line shaking their hands.
Trying to end the protest in prayer, protesters started gathering in the parking lot of Sam’s Meat Market, led by ministers of The Church of God and The Church of Christ.
At 11:30PM (CST) the march officially ended and a call made for protestors to be at the Justice Center in Clayton at Bob McCollough’s office tomorrow at 9:00AM (CST).
The police stood and didn’t move while people circulated in the crowds saying, “It’s time to go.”
Protesters were clearing out for about 20 minutes. Then, a water bottle was thrown…
Police ran into the crowd as people scattered, ordering everyone to the sidewalks. Another water bottle was thrown…police restrained themselves, but it was nearing chaos.
Someone in the crowd yelled, “They just stole my phone!” and protesters and police took off after the thief.
Due to the incident prior to that, SWAT arrived on the scene and yet another water bottle was thrown. This time, SWAT got involved, “If you are in the middle of the street, you are unlawfully assembled and may be subject to arrest.”
Two police officers chasing a protester, were able to stop him in the street and arrest him. While arresting him, once again, a water bottle was thrown (next up on the Government’s Agenda: Ban Assault Water Bottles) and a live shot was heard being fired at officers.
Media was immediately commanded by SWAT to return to the designated media staging area. Some of the protesters formed a line – hand in hand – between the police and the crowd attempting to ease tensions, all the while telling the protesters “Don’t feed the media”. Flared tensions were eased a bit, but police still formed a 3 block long line in the middle of W. Florissant.
The police then told media to evacuate the area and return to the media staging area at the Command Post for their own safety, when they had to pull people from the press area that were not credentialed press.
Sharon Warren of Ferguson, said about the incident, “I wish this whole thing had never happened.”
Peaceful protesters were screaming at the media to go home, thinking that the agitators were doing this for the cameras.
10 people were arrested, including one member of the National Lawyers Guild of Legal Observers, while protesters chanted “Who do you serve? Who do you protect?”
Despite lots of commotion, officers did not deployed gas tonight.
The entire protest area was cleared. People were being told they could sit in a designated parking lot all night, there was a floodlight lighting up the parking lot for their safety.
W. Florissant is open for local vehicle traffic again. Police are checking ID’s for a Ferguson home address at Lucas & Hunt, and at Ferguson Ave.