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Ferguson, MO– Demonstrators braved the cold once again on Thursday evening, for the 104th day in a row, to protest outside the Ferguson Police Department as we await the grand jury decision on whether or not Officer Darren Wilson will be charged in the August 9th murder of the young Michael Brown.

The situation was relatively calm when we arrived on the scene at 8:30pm.  Around 15-20 protestors were out, mostly on the sidewalk, and the police were no where in sight.  Occasionally a handful of people would take the street and a car or two would be stopped waiting for a couple minutes, but there were certainly no large disturbances.

No large disturbances until around 9:30 pm when the police came out, that is.

Initially it began with a small group of officers, one of whom was gripping a can of mace and could not contain his chuckling as members of the community demanded to know why a man of color would stand on that side of the gate.

Despite the angry words, there was never any point where police, the public, or the press seemed to be in danger- other than from the police, who steadily grew in numbers, gear, and arrogant smirks.  Two officers were equipped with “less lethal” rifles, in case they needed to, you know, gamble with taking a life.

Photo by The Free Thought Project
Photo by The Free Thought Project
Photo by The Free Thought Project
Photo by The Free Thought Project
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Photo by The Free Thought Project

At 10:20 pm the crowd grew bored with venting their mourning and outrage at these officers and took to the fairly empty street once again.  A car was stopped for a few minutes and the police moved their formation out to the sidewalk, eventually charging at the demonstrators and press, creating quite a chaotic scene.

For the first time during the 104 days of protest, riot police charged into the lot across the street, violently arresting three demonstrators including Dasha Jones and Brandy Shields of Lost Voices, a group who aims to be “non-violent conduits of social change in our community and everywhere else throughout the United States; through service and purposeful acts of protest.” An officer reportedly smashed his shield into the face of a live streamer, and other officers had to be held back by their fellow storm troopers as some were exceptionally over zealous.

We were shoved into a dark parking lot with riot police running around, and five officers piling on a small teenage girl while other officers encircled the situation.  It was chaos.  Chaos created unmistakably and solely by the police department. If these government officials want to ask for peace, they are asking the wrong side of the gates. If this is how officers have been trained to deal with a small group of non violent protesters then I fear for us all when the Grand Jury decision is finally revealed.


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