“Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Saturday declared a state of emergency and implemented a midnight to 5 a.m. curfew in Ferguson, where the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager sparked a week of protests and sporadic looting,” cnn.com reports. “‘I’m committed to making sure the forces of peace and justice prevail,’ Nixon said at a community meeting. ‘If we’re going to achieve justice we first must have and maintain peace.'” Meanwhile, in the absence of adequate police protection, following accusations of over-zealous police action during the nights of rioting, Ferguson residents have taken-up arms to protect their property. As well they should, given the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s non-engagement policy on looting and Capt. Ron Johnson’s statement on curfew enforcement . . .
Johnson praised local citizens who tried to stop the looting of several businesses early Saturday and said law enforcement would not be heavy-handed in enforcing the curfew.
“We won’t enforce it with trucks, we won’t enforce it with tear gas,” he said.
The fragile peace shattered in Ferguson earlier in the day when looters again targeted neighborhood businesses while law enforcement in riot gear largely looked on without intervening.
Some protesters tried to stop the looting, at times standing in front of one convenience store and preventing others from doing more damage. Police, criticized days earlier for being too aggressive with protesters, now drew the ire of merchants who told CNN they weren’t doing enough.
“You still have a job to do now, and now you’re not doing your job,” Tanya Littleton said of police after thieves broke into her beauty supply shop in the St. Louis suburb and made off with bags of hair extensions worth hundreds of dollars.
Lesson learned: at the end of the day, you’re in charge of your own security. Come what may.