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Arrests and Non-Violent Protests in Ferguson Mark 1st Anniversary of the Killing of Michael Brown

August 10, 2015 in Blogs

By John Swaine, The Guardian

St Louis County police to take over operations in Ferguson a day after 18-year-old black man was shot by police after firing on unmarked vehicle.

St Louis County has issued a state of emergency following Sunday night’s escalation in violence during a demonstration marking the first anniversary of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.

“In light of last night’s violence and unrest in the city of Ferguson, and the potential for harm to persons and property, I am exercising my authority as county executive to issue a state of emergency, effective immediately,” St Louis County executive Steve Stenger said in a statement.

Stranger later told KMOX radio in an interview that a curfew banning Ferguson residents from the streets late at night may yet be implemented. 

St Louis County police chief Jon Belmar will take over the operation of police emergency management in Ferguson and surrounding areas, Stenger said.

Meanwhile, peaceful protesters were arrested in St Louis on Monday as they continued demonstrating after the first anniversary of the death of Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson.

The philosopher Cornel West and the prominent young protest leaders DeRay McKesson and Johnetta Elzie were among a stream of demonstrators detained in plastic handcuffs and arrested by officers from the Department of Homeland Security and St Louis Metropolitan Police at the federal courthouse in the city’s downtown district.

A legal observer from the National Lawyers Guild and several members of the local clergy were also arrested as demonstrators walked through a temporary barrier and sat outside the courthouse building.

Reporters who attempted to monitor the arrests at close quarters were pushed back by officers and threatened with arrest for trespassing on federal property by Sam Dotson, the chief of St Louis MPD.

In a statement, US attorney Richard Callahan said 57 protesters were arrested for “obstructing normal use of the entrances” to the federal courthouse.

Those arrested were being processed by the US Marshal Service “as quickly as can administratively be” and would be released on summons, he said.

Callahan described the protest as “otherwise peaceful and …read more


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