Tags: unlawful | St. Louis | Ferguson | police

St. Louis 'Unlawful' Marchers Are Cleared by Police

Image: St. Louis 'Unlawful' Marchers Are Cleared by Police
(Jim Young/Reuters/Landov)

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 05:19 PM

Officers in riot gear dispersed hundreds of demonstrators at St. Louis City Hall who were protesting the police killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson.

One man, chased and tackled by at least three officers, was arrested before demonstrators gathered again at Kiener Plaza, with views to the Gateway Arch, the Mississippi riverside monument to westward expansion. They chanted: “Mike Brown means we’ve got to fight back.”

The flare-up over the 18-year-old’s shooting followed a second night of demonstrations in Ferguson, where Governor Jay Nixon tripled to 2,200 the number of Missouri National Guard soldiers. There were disruptions in U.S. cities including New York, Houston, Los Angeles, Boston, Dallas and Oakland, California, where crowds vandalized businesses and blocked two interstates.

“What we’ve been preaching from the beginning: peaceful, positive,” Lesley McSpadden, Brown’s mother, said today in an interview in New York. “Stay calm. Think with a rational mind. We don’t want anybody else getting hurt. Losing my son was enough for me. It was actually too much.”

Cleared Out

Not all protests take place on the streets. An Internet site, BlackoutForHumanRights.com, is encouraging Americans not to spend money on Nov. 28, the post-Thanksgiving Day kickoff to the Christmas retail rush. Blackout was founded in September and Bay Area movie director Ryan Coogler is among its members. His film “Fruitvale Station” won a 2013 Sundance Film Festival award for its depiction of a young black victim of a police shooting.

“When you spend money as if everything is business-as-usual, you give off the impression that nothing is wrong,” Coogler said in a telephone interview. “Young people are dying at the hands of public servants. Things obviously aren’t OK.”

In Missouri today, the protest by several hundred people began peacefully. There were stops for a mock trial on the steps of the old St. Louis Courthouse and a few moments to hold hands at an intersection. Chanting and waving signs, they passed National Guard troops standing alongside a Humvee outside the civil courts building.

Freedom to Assemble

When they reached City Hall, some demanded to go inside. An officer shouted to the crowd that their gathering was an “unlawful assembly” and they would have to leave. A line of officers in riot gear advanced and the protesters scattered, only to follow a police car, its lights flashing, back to the plaza where the march had begun. The crowd then trickled away.

“We’ve been peaceful and the police are still treating us like criminals,” said Jeanina Jenkins, 21. “This is America. You aren’t supposed to be able to treat people like this in America.”

Officers early this morning and last night quelled sporadic violence, seizing a Molotov cocktail, two weapons and several bottles that appeared to be filled with urine, according to Jon Belmar, chief of the St. Louis County Police Department.

In Ferguson, a police car was flipped and set on fire, and a crowd was cleared from the City Hall area when police released noxious gas. On the night of the grand jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson, the 28-year-old Ferguson officer whose bullets killed Brown, the city of 21,000 erupted in looting and arson.

“The ramped up presence and action of the Missouri National Guard has been helpful,” Nixon said in an e-mailed statement. “I will continue to monitor the situation closely to determine whether additional resources are necessary to protect public safety.”

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Officers in riot gear dispersed hundreds of demonstrators at St. Louis City Hall who were protesting the police killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson.One man, chased and tackled by at least three officers, was arrested before demonstrators gathered...
unlawful, St. Louis, Ferguson, police
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2014-19-26
Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 05:19 PM
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