Following Ferguson Curfew, Seven Arrested and One Shot as Violence Continues in the Divided City
In an attempt to stop looting during protests following the shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Gov. Jay Nixon announced a midnight curfew in the city Saturday. Still, the move wasn't enough to curb violence and further strife in Ferguson. Early Sunday morning, seven residents of Ferguson were arrested for violating the curfew, while one was shot and, according to Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, critically wounded.
But it's unclear where the bullet came from in the case of the unidentified man in critical condition. Johnson, who held a 3 a.m. press conference in Ferguson, told media that the man was shot inside a barbecue restaurant, where a group of armed men were gathered. The only thing we do know? According to Johnson, police were not responsible for the shooting.
But the Ferguson police department did fire tear gas at protestors following curfew, after Johnson claimed that officials would not "enforce [curfew] with tear gas" — but the Missouri State Highway Patrol captain claims that was simply to get through the crowd to the unidentified victim. Before the shooting, authorities say they shot only smoke into protesting citizens defying Nixon's midnight curfew.
After midnight Sunday, demonstrators gathered in Ferguson's streets despite the rain, chanting, according to The New York Times, "We are Mike Brown! We have the right to assemble peacefully!” (Though one did, according to police, throw a bottle rocket and another fired a gun at a police car.) Despite St. Louis Alderman Antonio French's attempt to sway protestors into heading home once the clock struck midnight, as CNN reports, seven protestors were in police custody within 45 minutes of the broken curfew.
So, the clear question after another night of strife in Ferguson: Would the city continue its curfew another 24 hours? During his early morning press conference, Johnson did not answer, but clearly was not pleased with what the curfew yielded. Said Johnson: "I was disappointed in the actions of tonight. . . . The crowds we've had for the last two nights [were] citizens obeying, protesting."
Whether or not Gov. Nixon decides to continue the curfew, one thing clearly is ongoing in Ferguson: the mass distrust of Ferguson's authorities.
No doubt, that will continue into Sunday night, curfew or not.