When Ferguson, MO police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, the town erupted into violence. Law enforcement’s response to protesters and looters triggered a debate about police tactics and militarization. Race hustlers moved in. News commentators commented. And then . . . relative calm. The peace shattered last night, after person or persons unknown torched a makeshift memorial to the dead teen. “At least two protesters were arrested and some businesses were damaged Tuesday night,” usatoday.com reports. Reading between the lines at stltoday.com, it seems the cops have learned from their previous mistakes . . .
Windows were smashed at one shop and a fire was believed set at another business during protests in Ferguson Tuesday night.
At least three people were arrested early Wednesday morning as police moved in to break up protesters.
Early Wednesday, after police had blocked off West Florissant Avenue and the entrance to the Canfield Green apartments, shots were heard in the area. No one was reported hit.
Windows were smashed early in the evening at Beauty Town at West Florissant Avenue and Canfield Drive, and protesters gathered shortly afterward, reaching as many as 200 about 10:30 p.m.
Police officials, including Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ronald S. Johnson, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar and St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson, went to the scene. The crowd eventually dwindled to about 50 to 75 shortly before midnight. A line of about a dozen police faced the remaining protesters . . .
Some Ferguson police in the area were wearing their new body cameras, but some were not. When asked, some said they had been on duty with their cameras on for as much as 20 hours and the batteries had died.
usatoday.com reports that the cops withdrew from the protestors, putting a parking lot between the two groups. The police’s restraint and improved command and control are all very well and good, but the potential for a full-scale riot remains. Police Officer Darren Wilson has not been charged in the Brown shooting – a sore point for “community activists” who’ve repeatedly and publicly pronounced him guilty of murder.
This ain’t over, and it will not end well.