The St. Louis County Police Chief, Jon Belmar, called the armed presence by the Oath Keepers “both unnecessary and inflammatory”, NBC News reports.
LOUIS Under the shadow of a state of emergency declaration in St. Louis County, protesters mobilized Monday for a choreographed day of civil disobedience, shutting down a key commuter artery and staging demonstrations downtown, in Clayton and in Ferguson.
St. Louis County Police released a video on Tuesday that they said shows a suspect, who has been accused of firing on police, drawing a pistol from his trousers during protests in strife-torn Ferguson.
An additional 23 people were arrested Monday night and early Tuesday after police used pepper spray to clear West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson. About 200 demonstrators, some waving flags, beating drums, and shouting anti-police slogans, marched along a street that was a flash point of riots that erupted last year after police officer Darren Wilson killed Brown. When protesters refused to move from the streets, officers started making arrests and dousing people in irritant.
Other items, including frozen water bottles and rocks were thrown at officers, the SLCPD added.
The night before, protests had grown violent and another 18-year-old was shot by police.
Harris’ father disputed the police account Monday but declined to discuss his son’s shooting Tuesday.
Just a few hours later, very early this morning, a 17-year-old and a 19-year-old walking near the Michael Brown memorial were wounded in a drive-by shooting.
“If there were black and brown people in this country who showed up in the streets open carrying assault rifles in paramilitary garb would they still be received the same way?” On Monday the St. Louis County prosecutor’s office charged Tyrone Harris, an 18-year-old from St. Louis, on 10 counts related to the alleged shootout.
The organization says its members are all former military, police or first responders who pledge to “defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic”, according to the group’s website.
Around 5:30pm. yesterday, multiple police departments were dispatched to the area of Highway 70 and Earth City Expressway for a group of protestors shutting down eastbound and westbound traffic.
Belmar described the individuals involved in the incident as “criminals” and distinguished them from protesters who are calling for positive changes in the community.
Four plainclothes officers say they drove their unmarked SUV towards Harris with the car’s interior lights flashing, but Harris responded by shooting at the officers, striking their vehicle several times.
“Some people broke in to some of the businesses on our lot, and so we are all here helping each other”, she told AFP on Monday.