Live updates: Ferguson protests, Day 10

City officials call for 'nighttime quiet' after another night of chaos, arrests

Dylan Stableford
Yahoo News
A protester takes shelter from smoke billowing around him Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014, in Freguson, Mo. Protests in the St. Louis suburb rocked by racial unrest since a white police officer shot an unarmed black teenager to death turned violent Wednesday night, with some people lobbing Molotov cocktails and other objects at police who responded with smoke bombs and tear gas to disperse the crowd. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, David Carson)
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It was another episode of chaos and unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, on Monday night and early Tuesday as two people were shot and 78 people arrested — including several journalists — during clashes between police and protesters just hours after President Barack Obama called for calm and Gov. Jay Nixon lifted a curfew in the hopes that National Guard troops could maintain order. Below are updates from Day 10 of the protests.

4:30 p.m. ET: Ferguson Mayor James Knowles said he is concerned Tuesday's fatal shooting in north St. Louis will give "agitators" another reason to riot.

"The slightest thing can inflame people's anger," the mayor said on CNN.

Earlier on MSNBC, Knowles said racial tensions are not present in Ferguson.

“I don’t believe that’s the case," Knowles said. "There’s not a racial divide in the city of Ferguson."

“According to whom?” MSNBC's Tamron Hall replied. “Is that your perspective, or do you believe that is the perspective of African-Americans in your community?”

“That is the perspective of all residents in our city, absolutely,” Knowles said.


4:20 p.m. ET:
St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch said he has "no intention" to recuse himself from a grand jury probe of the Michael Brown shooting despite calls for an independent prosecutor to handle the case.

“I certainly have no intention of walking away from the responsibilities that the people have entrusted me with,” McCulloch told KMOX. “But I also understand if the governor were to do that he has that right.”

McCulloch said he would oversee the investigation “objectively and fairly.”

On Monday, McCulloch's office said a grand jury could begin hearing evidence as early as Wednesday.


4 p.m. ET:
Reporters covering the protests in Ferguson have been tweeting photos of their gas masks.


3:30 p.m. ET:
Photos tweeted by reporters in the area of Tuesday's fatal police shooting show tense moments followed by relative calm.


3:05 p.m. ET:
St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said the suspect, a 23-year-old African-American man, had been involved in a convenience store theft early Tuesday afternoon and was seen acting eratically. When two officers stopped him, the suspect shouted, "Shoot me! Kill me now!" The suspect refused verbal commands to stop and approached the officers holding a knife in an "overhand grip," getting within three or four feet of them, police said. Both officers fired at the suspect, killing him.

"Every police officer out here has the right to defend themselves," Dotson told reporters.


2:45 p.m.:
St. Louis Police are investigating a fatal shooting involving a police officer in north St. Louis approximately four miles from Ferguson and less than three miles from where Michael Brown was killed.

Police Chief Sam Dotson tweeted that the "suspect brandished a knife at officers." The suspect is dead, and no officers were injured.

 

2:30 p.m.: Attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing the family of Michael Brown, says the funeral for the slain 18-year-old will be held onMonday.

2 p.m.: The protests over the killing of Michael Brown have not been limited to Ferguson. On Monday night, more than 1,000 people showed up outside CNN's headquarters in Atlanta.


1:45 p.m.:
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch points out that the number of shooting victims during the protests might be higher than reported, because hospital officials say "once someone has been identified as a 'victim of violence' they cannot share any information regarding that individual." Legal experts, however, say such information is being withheld unnecessarily.

 

1:15 p.m. ET: Since the protests began, city and state officials have said that a large number of the "nonpeaceful" protesters are from outside Ferguson. According to NBC, 18 of the 78 people arrested on Monday night and early Tuesday were from outside Missouri. And KSDK-TV reports just four of those arrested on "failure to disperse" had a Ferguson address.


12:15 p.m. ET:
St. Louis County Jail records show there were 78 arrests made during last night's protests, NBC News reports. All but three of those arrested were charged with "failure to disperse." Two were arrested for unlawful use of a weapon and one for interfering with an officer, NBC said.


11:45 a.m. ET:
City officials are calling for "nighttime quiet and reconciliation" and "exploring a range of actions that are intended to make the community feel more connected and demonstrate the transparency of our city departments."

"It is our hope that as we continue to work for the wellbeing of Ferguson, residents will stay home at night, allow peace to settle in, and allow for the justice process to take its course,” the statement, attributed to "city leadership," reads.

11 a.m. ET: Ferguson's QuikTrip — a convenience store that was destroyed during riots last week and later served as a meeting point of sorts for protesters — has been fenced off.


10:30 a.m. ET:
Ferguson's superintendent announced that public schools, which had been scheduled to open this week, will remain closed until Monday:


All schools in the Ferguson-Florissant School District will be closed Tuesday, August 19 through Friday, August 22 due to continued unrest in and around Ferguson, Mo. This decision was made after much careful deliberation and consideration of input received from local law enforcement officials and District security staff. We believe that closing schools for the rest of this week will allow needed time for peace and stability to be restored to our community and allow families to plan ahead for the additional days that children will be out of school. While we deeply regret this delay to the start of the 2014-2015 school year, our first priority is the safety of our students. Due to this change, the first day of school in the Ferguson-Florissant School District will be on Monday, August 25.


With no classes to teach, some teachers joined volunteers in the morning cleanup effort.


One teacher even organized activities for students at the Ferguson Public Library.


10:15 a.m. ET:
Hours after his emotional press conference, Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson is back on the scene.


9:30 a.m. ET: Another day, another image of empty tear gas cannisters used by police in Ferguson the night before.


8 a.m. ET:
A powerful photo on the cover of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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The cover of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Aug. 19, 2014. (Newseum.org)

The cover of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Aug. 19, 2014. (Newseum.org)

7 a.m. ET: Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson said police had come under heavy gunfire as bottles, rocks and Molotov cocktails were thrown from the crowd, injuring four officers.

Johnson became emotional during a press conference held in the wee hours of Tuesday.

“This nation is watching each and every one of us,” he said. “We’re going to solve this. ... We’re going to make this neighborhood whole. We’re going to make this community whole.”

Johnson also defended the arrests of journalists, saying police, in many cases, are not able to differentiate between protesters and the press.

"In the midst of chaos, when officers are running around, we're not sure who's a journalist and who's not," Johnson said. "And yes, if I see somebody with a $50,000 camera on their shoulder, I'm pretty sure. But some journalists are walking around, and all you have is a cellphone because you're from a small media outlet. Some of you may just have a camera around your neck. So yes, we are — we may take some of you into custody."

Earlier, police formed a line, telling journalists to disperse or face arrest.


During CNN's live coverage of the protests, host Jake Tapper, who has been reporting from Ferguson, became critical of a similar line of militarized police.

"I want you to look at what is going on in Ferguson, Missouri, in downtown America," Tapper said. "These are armed police, with semi-automatic rifles, with batons, with shields, many of them dressed for combat. Now why they’re doing this I don’t know, because there is no threat going on here, none that merits this. There is none.

"Absolutely there have been looters, absolutely over the last nine days there’s been violence, but there is nothing going on on this street right now that merits this scene out of Bagram," Tapper continued. "Nothing! So if people wonder why the people of Ferguson, Missouri are so upset, this is part of the reason. What is this? This doesn’t make any sense!"

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