One Week After Michael Brown Was Gunned Down, Mayhem Erupts Again in Ferguson [UPDATED]
After a short period of peace, tension returned to Ferguson, Mo., when on late Friday protesters broke into the small store allegedly robbed by Michael Brown.
Earlier that day, authorities identified Darren Wilson—who has served on the force for six years with no disciplinary record—as the police officer who shot the unarmed 18-year-old. Police Chief Thomas Jackson also disclosed documents alleging that Brown had stolen cigars from Ferguson Market & Liquor and assaulted a man as he walked out. Store footage showing a person resembling the teenager was also released to the public, inciting outrage.
“They have attempted to taint the investigation,” U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay said in front of protesters Friday evening. “They are trying to influence a jury pool by the stunt they pulled today.”
According to The Associated Press, Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson said that “a large, rowdy but mostly peaceful crowd” started looting the market just before midnight. Police drove them away using tear gas, and another group of protesters eventually stood in front of the store to stop looters from returning. One officer was reportedly hurt during another standoff, but nobody was arrested.
“We just felt it was better to move back,” Johnson told the AP.
This morning, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that among law enforcement, two motorcycle clubs with mostly African American members showed up on the streets of Ferguson to show their support and ward off looters.
One rider told the paper that his group didn’t have anything planned, “but normally when they see our presence troublemakers don’t come around much.”
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon tweeted that he’ll be returning to Ferguson today.
UPDATED Aug. 16, 2014—2:25 p.m.
Gov. Nixon declared a state of emergency in Ferguson and a curfew from midnight to 5 a.m. effective Saturday, reported The New York Times.