Live Updates: Crisis In Ferguson

The shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a police officer ignited tensions in Ferguson, Mo., and around the nation. Read coverage from the first eight days of unrest in Ferguson, Mo.

Images of people shot by police officers are displayed by demonstrators protesting the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri Saturday night. Joshua Lott / Reuters

The Latest From Ferguson


Updates

Thousands gather for Michael Brown’s funeral held in St. Louis.

A St. Louis Cardinals baseball at rests on top of Michael Brown’s casket before the start of his funeral at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis, Monday, Aug. 25. AP Photo/New York Times, Richard Perry

Protesters in Ferguson share why they continued to come out over the weekend.

Demonstrators protest the killing of unarmed teen Michael Brown across the street from the Ferguson Police Department in Ferguson, Missouri Adrees Latif / Reuters

Capt. Ron Johnson held a news conference at around 1:30 a.m. local time. He said the protests Saturday night had been fairly calm, but six people had been arrested.


Johnson said four of the six people arrested were from out of the state and had been previously arrested.

Local residents Vawone Duncan, right, leans on his father Ducan Yawan after police made arrests as demonstrators gathered to protest the death of unarmed teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri early Sunday morning. The demonstrations remained peaceful, marking the fourth night of relative calm for Ferguson. Adrees Latif / Reuters

People visit a makeshift memorial for Michael Brown in Ferguson. Saturday marked two weeks since police officer Darren Wilson shot dead Brown. Joshua Lott / Reuters

The White House announced it is sending three officials to Michael Brown’s memorial on Monday in Ferguson.


One of the three officials, Marlon Marshall, attended high school with Brown’s mother Lesley McSpadden in St. Louis, CNN reported. The other officials include Heather Foster, who is part of the White House Office of Public Engagement, and Broderick Johnson, who leads the White House’s My Brother’s Keeper Task Force.

Brown’s public memorial will be held at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis and Rev. Al Sharpton will be giving a eulogy.

A police officer at a department a few miles outside Ferguson has been suspended for posting comments on Facebook about the protesters, like that they should have been “put down like a rabid dog,” the Daily Caller reports.

Twitter: @3ChicsPolitico

The Glendale, Mo., department announced in a statement yesterday that they suspended Matthew Pappert, who has been an officer since 2008, after “several very concerning and inappropriate posts on his personal Facebook page.”

“I’m sick of these protesters,” says another one of the posts. “You are a burden on society and a blight on the community.”

St. Louis County Police apologized Friday after a video surfaced showing an officer making inflammatory remarks.

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GoFundMe page for Darren Wilson replaced by charity linked with the local police union.


Jacob Fischler reports: A long message to the Support Officer Wilson GoFundMe page was posted Friday afternoon, noting that donations will now go directly to a 501c3 charity called Shield of Hope, which the post says is designated “the authorized charity for donations on behalf of Darren Wilson.” Shield of Hope appears to be linked with the local police union in St. Louis County, Lodge 15 of the Fraternal Order of Police.

Grand Jury in Brown case has three black members, nine white.


St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports: “The grand jury that is hearing evidence in the Michael Brown shooting death has one black man and two black women on the panel, and six white men and three white women.”

The demographics roughly reflect the racial breakdown of St. Louis County’s population, which is about 24 percent black and about 68 percent white, according to the report.

Later in the day, the ACLU told Chris Geidner it accidentally left off three pages of the report and it was not empty

The ACLU on Thursday obtained a St. Louis County incident report of Michael Brown’s shooting. The report was released on Twitter.

ACLU, St. Louis County

St. Louis County police on Thursday released information on the 204 people they had arrested since protests began.


Nine of the arrested were from Ferguson, and a majority came from St. Louis, Jennings, Florissant, and other surrounding areas. A handful of people were from cities out of state, including San Francisco, New York, and Chicago.

More than half of people arrested were suspected of refusal to disperse. About 30 were expected to be charged with burglary or possessing stolen goods. One man from Austin, Texas, was arrested three times for failing to move; a man from St. Louis suburb Creve Coeur was arrested twice.

The data does not include arrests made by the Ferguson Police Department or other agencies.

Governor Nixon orders National Guard to begin pulling out of Ferguson.


“I greatly appreciate the men and women of the Missouri National Guard for successfully carrying out the specific, limited mission of protecting the Unified Command Center so that law enforcement officers could focus on the important work of increasing communication within the community, restoring trust, and protecting the people and property of Ferguson,” Gov. Nixon said. “As we continue to see improvement, I have ordered the Missouri National Guard to begin a systematic process of withdrawing from the City of Ferguson.”

On Monday, Gov. Nixon ordered the Guard to carry out the specific mission of protecting the Unified Command Center in Ferguson, which had been the target of a coordinated, planned attack the night before. Missouri National Guard Brigadier General Gregory Mason is overseeing Guard operations in Ferguson under the overall command of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Since that time, the situation has greatly improved with fewer incidents of outside instigators interfering with peaceful protestors, and fewer acts of violence.

Meanwhile, the unified command, which includes officers from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, St. Louis County, St. Louis City and other jurisdictions, will continue its mission to respond appropriately to incidents of lawlessness while protecting the rights of all peaceful citizens.

“Justice rests in the hands of one person: St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch, a man with deep personal, family, and professional ties to the local police department,” Cornell William Brooks, the NAACP’s president and chief executive, said in a statement.

McCulloch issued a statement of his own on Thursday, saying he is “not walking away ” from the case.

“This attorney general and this Department of Justice stand with the people of Ferguson.”


Speaking with reporters in Washington on Thursday, Attorney General Eric Holder said, “The people of Ferguson can have confidence in the federal agents, investigators, and prosecutors who are leading the process.”

He also said, “Few things have affected me as greatly as my visit to Ferguson.”

Capt. Ron Johnson held a news conference at 1:30 a.m., and said fewer “agitators” were in the crowd Wednesday night. He said in total six people were arrested — much less than last night’s 47 arrests.


“This was not a conflict-free night,” Johnson said, noting an officer was hit with a bottle that was thrown. He was not seriously injured.

Johnson also acknowledged the the crowd was much smaller and said he thought Attorney General Eric Holder’s presence helped calm tensions.

Michael Brown’s mother viewed her son’s body Wednesday for the first time since he was killed, before meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder.

Attorney General Eric Holder speaks during his meeting with Special Agent in Charge William P. Woods (left) and Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Molly Moran (right) at the FBI Building in St. Louis, Missouri Wednesday. Pool / Reuters

Holder held a private 20-minute meeting with Michael Brown’s family, who asked about the investigation process. He said it would be “fair and independent,” according to the White House press report.

People gathered in cities across the U.S. on Aug. 14 for a national moment of silence to honor Michael Brown, and many have continued to rally across the country along with protesters in Ferguson.

A new video from the city of Ferguson shows Officer Darren Wilson receiving a commendation several months ago.

It is the first time an image of Wilson has come from city officials. youtube.com / Via AP

St. Louis County police released a statement Wednesday about their response to a church turned shelter.


On Wednesday, August 20, 2014, at approximately 11:45 am, St. Louis County Police Officers responded to an abandoned school building near St. Mark’s Church after learning that individuals were occupying the structure. Officers contacted a representative of the church, who advised he was aware that several people were occupying the structure. The representative was not aware that the building wasn’t zoned for occupancy and if it was it would need an occupancy permit. The representative escorted the officers to the location and voluntarily opened the building with a key. It appeared that five to seven people were sleeping in the facility but no one was present. Officers on the scene advised there was no animosity between the police or the representative of the church. The representative stated that he would advise the individuals to leave.

“I am the Attorney General of the United States. But I am also a black man.”


Chris Geidner reports: While in Missouri on Wednesday, Attorney General Eric Holder spoke in very personal terms about his own interactions with police.

I can remember being stopped on the New Jersey turnpike on two occasions and accused of speeding. Pulled over…. ‘Let me search your car’… Go through the trunk of my car, look under the seats and all this kind of stuff. I remember how humiliating that was and how angry I was and the impact it had on me.

Holder is also meeting with Michael Brown’s parents in St. Louis.

Attorney General Eric Holder met with Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson Wednesday in Ferguson.

Attorney General Eric Holder talks with Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol at Drake’s Place Restaurant in Florrissant. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Pool, via Reuters

Ryan J. Reilly/Huffington Post / Via Twitter: @ryanjreilly

Holder also talked with students at St. Louis Community College Florissant Valley in Ferguson, including Charnell Hrun, 20.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool, via Reuters

Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool, via Reuters

Video of the incident. Warning: graphic language.

youtube.com

Grand jury could take months, prosecutor says.


St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert P. McCulloch said it could be the middle of October before his office wraps up its presentation of evidence to the grand jury regarding Police Officer Darren Wilson’s shooting of Michael Brown.

In interviews with KTRS-AM and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, McCulloch said it will take time to present forensic evidence from both the county and the federal investigations to the grand jury.

“It could be longer than that, or shorter than that,” he said. “I doubt any sooner than that.”

Amnesty International calls on Attorney General Eric Holder to start an investigation into police actions at the protests in Ferguson.


BuzzFeed’s Chris Geidner reports: With Holder arriving in Missouri to meet with federal and elected officials and community members in Ferguson, Amnesty International USA released four recommendations — one of which is specific to the situation in Ferguson. The other recommendations call for broad examination of lethal force and police shootings across the country.

Demonstrators gather Wednesday outside St. Louis County prosecutor’s office in Clayton, Mo., where a grand jury is expected to convene in the investigation of Michael Brown’s death. KSDK reported that the grand jury process could last until mid-October.

St. Louis County is one of the most segregated places in America. A look at the data:

In the United States, there are 325 counties and non-incorporated cities (such as Baltimore) that have at least 20,000 people and are at least 20% black. Of them all, St. Louis County is the 15th most black-white segregated, putting it in the 96th percentile.

Peaceful protests escalated suddenly after midnight Wednesday when a small group of protesters clashed with police after a bottle was hurled at officers.


Reports from the scene said police were attempting to clear a parking lot in Ferguson when a protester tossed a water bottle at officers, sparking a flurry of activity and resulting in several arrests.

Video from the scene showed police mixing with protesters as arrests were made near the McDonald’s in Ferguson. youtube.com / Via Jim Dalrymple II / BuzzFeed

Several people were reportedly arrested Tuesday.

A demonstrator is arrested while protesting the killing of teenager Michael Brown. It was not immediately clear why she was arrested. Scott Olson / Getty Images

A demonstrator is arrested while protesting on Monday. Scott Olson / Getty Images

A woman sits in the back of a police car after being arrested Tuesday. AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said on Tuesday his priorities were to protect the people of Ferguson, pursue a “vigorous” prosecution and rebuild trust in the community.


Ten days ago, a police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, in broad daylight. Since then, the world has watched a community become engulfed in grief, anger, fear and at times violence.

For a family mourning the loss of a son, it has been a profound personal tragedy. For Ferguson and our entire nation, it has ripped open old wounds that have festered for generations, and exposed difficult issues that communities across our country must still resolve.

Via governor.mo.gov

Watch Nixon’s message here:

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson spoke Tuesday afternoon with media about the officer-involved shooting in the city today.

St Louis police involved in the deadly shooting of a man who confronted officers with a knife while telling them “shoot me, kill me now” on Tuesday “followed force continuum” according to Chief Dotson.

Regarding the victim, Dotson said, “I believe he’s 23, we’ll verify that, we haven’t been able to contact the family yet.”

Dotson said that St. Louis police will have a “very strong presence tonight” in the part of the city where the shooting occurred.

Attorney General Eric Holder confirms in an article published by the St Louis Post-Dispatch that approximately 40 FBI agents are investigating the shooting death of Michael Brown.


“The full resources of the Department of Justice have been committed to the investigation into Michael Brown’s death. This inquiry will take time to complete, but we have already taken significant steps. Approximately 40 FBI agents and some of the Civil Rights Division’s most experienced prosecutors have been deployed to lead this process, with the assistance of the United States Attorney in St. Louis. Hundreds of people have already been interviewed in connection with this matter. On Monday, at my direction, a team of federal medical examiners conducted an independent autopsy.”

Holder is scheduled to be in Ferguson, Mo., on Wednesday.

Brown family legal team said a public memorial for Michael Brown will take place Monday.


The location and other details have yet to be finalized.

Suspect told officer, “Shoot me, kill me now,” chief says.


St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Sam Dotson said a 23-year-old black man with a knife was shot and killed by a police officer in St. Louis.

According to police, the man took items from a store. When a clerk told him he needed to pay for what he had taken, the man started throwing the items, pacing the street, and talking to himself. The man was reportedly brandishing a knife, and did not respond to officers’ verbal commands to drop his weapon, he said. When the man got within four feet of one officer, both cops fired their guns.

The suspect was acting erratically and came at one of two officers with a knife, saying, “Shoot me, kill me now,” Dotson said.

A large crowd gathered at the scene, not far from Ferguson, according to reports, with people questioning the need to shoot the man.

Asked whether the events in Ferguson affected the speed which the chief provided information about his incident to reporters, Dotson said this is “how we do things normally here, putting out as much information as we can as soon as we can.”

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson briefed reporters on the shooting this afternoon in St. Louis. NBC News

Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, writes letter to Brown family.

Marsha Halper/Miami Herald, via Associated Press

“I hate that you and your family must join this exclusive yet growing group of parents and relatives who have lost loved ones to senseless gun violence,” wrote Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin and the founder of the Trayvon Martin Foundation, in a letter published in Time. “We will no longer be ignored. We will bond, continue our fights for justice, and make them remember our children in an appropriate light. I would hate to think that our lawmakers and leaders would need to lose a child before protecting the rest of them and making the necessary changes NOW…”

Trayvon was fatally shot by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in 2012.

Report: 78 arrested in Ferguson overnight.

Christian Gooden/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via Associated Press

NBC News reported that 78 people were arrested during demonstrations overnight Monday. According to the report, “[A]ll but three were arrested for refusing to disperse.” That number is significantly higher than the 31 people law enforcement officials said were arrested.

According to several reports, those arrested included residents of New York and California.

St. Louis County Attorney to convene grand jury Wednesday.


A 12-member grand jury could begin hearing evidence Wednesday in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, the St. Louis County attorney’s office said. Wilson will be given the opportunity to testify.

This is what the St. Louis Police Department looked like Monday night as officers fired tear gas into the crowd of protesters.

newseum.org

David Carson took this incredible front page photo of police firing tear gas for today’s edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Capt. Ron Johnson held a press conference at 2:20 p.m. CT, in which he criticized media for “glamorizing” those committing violent acts on the streets of Ferguson.

Fox2News

Police were filmed moving forward, with their guns drawn.

vine.co

A demonstrator raises his hands in front of a fog of tear gas hovering over West Florissant Avenue. Lucas Jackson / Reuters

Joshua Lott / Reuters

Ferguson-Florissant School District will stay closed for the week. Monday was supposed to be the first day of school for local students.

“We believe that closing schools for the rest of this week will allow needed time for peace and stability to be restored to our community and allow families to plan ahead for the additional days that children will be out of school,” the district said. Nearby the Jennings and Riverview Gardens School District canceled classes Tuesday. facebook.com

The ACLU tried to block the new law enforcement strategy and creation of a “designated protest area.” A judge denied the temporary restraining order, a move that Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said protected public safety.

A Getty photographer was arrested Monday evening in Ferguson as police told people to move along.

instagram.com

The ACLU posted a court order signed by officials last week that media and members of the public would be allowed to record in public.

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In a statement, Pancho Bernasconi of Getty Images said the company “strongly objected” to his arrest.


Getty Images staff photographer Scott Olson was arrested this afternoon in Ferguson, Missouri, while on assignment documenting the events there. We at Getty Images stand firmly behind our colleague Scott Olson and the right to report from Ferguson. Getty Images is working to secure his release as soon as possible.

We strongly object to his arrest and are committed to ensuring he is able to resume his important work of capturing some of the most iconic images of this news story.

It was a little after 9 p.m., and I was in the McDonald’s parking lot, standing by my car. A police helicopter circled overhead, its spotlight sweeping back and forth.

Then I heard the sound of shattering glass: A rubber bullet had been fired through a window of McDonald’s, which until then, had been one of the few sanctuaries on West Florissant Avenue.

Now I didn’t feel safe anywhere. Read more

Attorney General Eric Holder: “Selective release of sensitive information” is “troubling to me.”

Larry Downing / Reuters

Attorney General Eric Holder released the following statement after his meeting with President Obama on Monday:

As I informed the President this afternoon, the full resources of the Department of Justice are being committed to our federal civil rights investigation into the death of Michael Brown.

“During the day today, more than 40 FBI agents continued their canvassing of the neighborhood where Michael Brown was shot. As a result of this investigative work, several new interviews have already been conducted.

“Moreover, at my direction, an additional medical examination is being performed on the body of Michael Brown. This autopsy is being performed today by one of the most experienced medical examiners in the United States military. I am confident this additional autopsy will be thorough and aid in our investigation.

“In addition to updating the President on these developments, I informed him of my plan to personally travel to Ferguson Wednesday. I intend to meet with FBI investigators, and prosecutors on the ground from the Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney’s Office officials about the ongoing investigation.

“I realize there is tremendous interest in the facts of the incident that led to Michael Brown’s death, but I ask for the public’s patience as we conduct this investigation. The selective release of sensitive information that we have seen in this case so far is troubling to me. No matter how others pursue their own separate inquiries, the Justice Department is resolved to preserve the integrity of its investigation. This is a critical step in restoring trust between law enforcement and the community, not just in Ferguson, but beyond.

“In order to truly begin the process of healing, we must also see an end to the acts of violence in the streets of Ferguson. Those who have been peacefully demonstrating should join with law enforcement in condemning the actions of looters and others seeking to enflame tensions.

“To assist on this front, the Department will be dispatching additional representatives from the Community Relations Service, including Director Grande Lum, to Ferguson. These officials will continue to convene stakeholders whose cooperation is critical to keeping the peace. Furthermore, as the President has announced, Ron Davis, our Director of the COPS office, will arrive on the ground in Ferguson Tuesday. Ron has been in touch with local and state officials since last week, providing technical assistance on crowd control techniques and facilitating communications between Missouri officials and other law enforcement officials whose communities have faced similar challenges in the past.

National organizations focused on “the protection of the rights of African Americans and all Americans” issued a joint statement calling for a “comprehensive federal review” of excessive use of force and racial profiling by police across the country


Chris Geidner reports the 13 organizations — which include the ACLU, NAACP, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, National Action Network, and Rainbow Push Coalition — sent the letter to Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday.

President Obama: “No excuse for excessive force by police or any action that denies people the right to protest peacefully.”

President Obama speaking from the White House on the situation in Ferguson. Larry Downing / Reuters

Speaking from the White House Monday, President Obama addressed the lingering unrest in Ferguson, Mo.

“It’s clear that the vast majority of people are peacefully protesting,” Obama said.

But he said it’s clear a small minority are not, adding that the looting in Ferguson “undermines rather than advancing justice.”

“There’s no excuse for excessive force by police or any action that denies people the right to protest peacefully,” Obama said. “Ours is a nation of laws for the citizens who live under them and for the citizens who enforce them. So to a community in Ferguson that is rightly hurting and looking for answers, let me call once again for us to seek some understanding rather than simply holler at each other. Let’s seek to heal rather than to wound each other.”

President Obama said he hopes the National Guard deployed to Ferguson will be “used in a limited and appropriate way.”

Asked if there was more he could do for Ferguson, Obama said, “I have to be very careful about not prejudging these events.”

“Part of the ongoing challenge of perfecting our union is dealing with communities that feel left behind,” he said.

“In too many communities around the country, a gulf of mistrust exists between local residents and law enforcement,” Obama said. “In too many communities, too many young men of color are left behind and seen only as objects of fear.”

Addressing the independent investigation into the death of Michael Brown, President Obama said that Attorney General Eric Holder will travel to Ferguson on Wednesday to meet with community leaders.

Watch live: President Obama delivers a statement on Ferguson, Mo.

youtube.com

President Obama will deliver a statement at 4 p.m. on the situation in Ferguson.

President Barack Obama is briefed Monday in the oval office by Attorney General Eric Holder on the situation in Ferguson, Mo. AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

Previous Updates:

St. Louis County medical examiner will not confirm the report that Michael Brown had marijuana in his system when he died.


The St. Louis County medical examiner’s officer told BuzzFeed Monday that their autopsy showed Michael Brown died from gunshots wounds, but “we’re not confirming the number, direction, or toxicology.”

The Washington Post is reporting that Michael Brown had marijuana in his system when he died according to a person “who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation.”

The St. Louis County medical examiner said they were aware of the article, but would not confirm the report that Michael Brown had marijuana in his system when he died.

In a statement, Gov. Jay Nixon said there will not be a curfew Monday night and the National Guard’s mission will be “limited.”


Last night, Ferguson, Missouri experienced a very difficult and dangerous night as a result of a violent criminal element intent upon terrorizing the community. As long as there are vandals and looters and threats to the people and property of Ferguson, we must take action to protect our citizens.

Following coordinated attacks last night both on civilians and law enforcement officers, I signed an executive order directing the Missouri National Guard to help restore peace and order in Ferguson. The Guard’s immediate and limited responsibilities under the direction of Colonel Ron Replogle of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, are to provide protection, and ensure the safety of our Unified Command Center, which was the target last night of a coordinated attack. The Guard will concentrate its resources on carrying out this limited mission.

Missouri National Guard Brigadier General Gregory Mason will oversee Guard operations in Ferguson under the overall command of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

With these additional resources in place, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and local law enforcement will continue to respond appropriately to incidents of lawlessness and violence, and protect the civil rights of all peaceful citizens to make their voices heard. We will not use a curfew tonight.

Again, I join the people of Ferguson, and all Missourians, in strongly condemning the violent acts we saw last night, including the firing upon law enforcement officers, the shooting of a civilian, the throwing of Molotov cocktails, looting and a coordinated attempt to overrun the unified Command Center.

We are all frustrated and looking for justice to be achieved regarding the shooting death of Michael Brown. As the dual investigations continue into what happened nine days ago at Canfield Green, we must defend Ferguson from these violent interlopers so that the peaceful protests can operate in peace and the search for answers and justice can continue.

Attorneys and the forensic team who performed autopsy confirm Michael Brown was shot “at least six times, maybe more,” say the “kill shot” went from back to front.


Attorneys for Michael Brown’s family said Monday that the “kill shot” that struck Brown in the apex of his head went from a “back to front position,” which is consistent with eyewitness accounts that Brown was surrendering when he was shot by officer Darren Wilson.

The experts who conducted the autopsy on behalf of the Brown family, Dr. Michael Baden and professor Shawn Parcells, forensic pathologist assistant, confirmed that Brown was shot at least six times.

Federal investigators are expected to conduct their autopsy today or tomorrow, Baden said.

“All of the gunshot wounds were survivable except the one at the top of the head that went through the brain,” Baden said.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon called the National Guard to Ferguson late Sunday without letting the White House know first, Evan McMorris-Santoro reports.


“Folks didn’t know,” an administration official told BuzzFeed Monday. “The White House did not know they were sending it in.”

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