Ferguson, Missouri continues to be a hot bed of turmoil in the wake of the police shooting of Michael Brown. Gov. Jay Nixon signed an order deploying the National Guard into the town to get the ongoing protests under control. The order comes after officials in Ferguson quelled a violent protest in Ferguson.
Protests continue in Ferguson
Gov. Nixon said protestors tossed Molotov cocktails and shot at both civilians and police. However, eyewitness accounts vary widely, according to Reuters. In a statement on the governor’s website, he said “an organized and growing number of individuals” marred a day of peaceful protests in connection with the death of 18-year old Michael Brown. He said many of those who are acting violently are from outside Ferguson and even the state of Missouri.
For the second night in a row, officials imposed a midnight curfew for the St. Louis suburb. Last night hundreds of protestors, including young children who had come with their families, ran after police officers wearing body armor and gas masks fired smoke and tear gas canisters into the crowd before the curfew.
Varying witness accounts
Protestors said they did nothing to provoke the smoke bombs and that “kids on bikes” led the protest. Officials with the Missouri Highway Patrol said “aggressors” were attempting to break into one of their command posts. They reportedly deployed armored vehicles to keep the public safety. Officials said they told protestors several times to back up and then used smoke canisters to disperse the crowd.
A spokesperson for the Highway Patrol said there were shootings, vandalism, looting and “other acts of violence that clearly appear not to have been spontaneous.” He added that the majority of protestors were peaceful and said only a few people were guilty of violent acts. He said the violence began after a suspect reportedly shot a civilian. Suspects reportedly opened fire on police and threw Molotov cocktails. At least one other person was shot in the chaos, and officers arrested several people.
Officials ordered schools in Ferguson to remain closed today.