Ferguson Police Use Tear Gas, Rubber Bullets on Protestors, Arrest Journalists

Police in Ferguson, Mo., continued their crackdown on protestors last night, using tear gas, armored vehicles and SWAT teams armed with military style weapons. At a press conference yesterday, the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch told reporters, “The timeline on this is there is no timeline” for when they will release more information about incident that sparked the demonstrations: The death of an unarmed, black teen who was shot multiple times by a police officer. Accounts of the incident differ: Police contend that Michael Brown assaulted the officer, but witnesses told reporters that Brown was surrendering with his hands up. As the AP notes, in Ferguson, “two-thirds of the 21,000 residents are black while all but three of the police force’s 53 officers are white.”

Though there had been some looting associated with the protests and reports of Molotov cocktails being thrown by a few individuals, the police department has been criticized for their reaction to demonstrators who are demanding answers. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon said, “While we all respect the solemn responsibility of our law enforcement officers to protect the public, we must also safeguard the rights of Missourians to peaceably assemble and the rights of the press to report on matters of public concern.” Last night, two reporters covering the protests—one from The Washington Post and another from the Huffington Post—were arrested because “they weren’t packing their bags fast enough” when police demanded patrons leave a local McDonalds. Both were later released without charges. Washington Post political reporter Wesley Lowery said authorities refused to provide them with the arresting officers’ names or serve them any paper work …

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