What We Know So Far
- At least six people were taken into custody in Ferguson on Tuesday night.
- Stores were looted, buildings burned, and protesters clashed with police Monday after a grand jury did not indict Police Officer Darren Wilson.
- Eighty-two people were arrested, about 25 buildings were burned, and several guns were recovered on Monday night.
- Forty-four people were arrested on Tuesday night, including four on felony charges. Police seized two Molotov cocktails, but said Tuesday had been “a much better night.”
- Gov. Jay Nixon increased the number of National Guard officers deployed to 2,200.
- Rev. Al Sharpton and Brown family lawyers called the grand jury process a “fixed fight.”
* Wilson has spoken out for the first time.
After relative calm, protests in Ferguson and across the U.S. on Tuesday night grew unruly.
After a night of relative calm, protests against the Ferguson grand jury decision descended into unrest Tuesday night in several major U.S. cities.
In Ferguson, after what had been a relatively quiet night, acts of vandalism began to spread across the city as authorities ordered demonstrators to disperse, deeming a large assembly of people gathered outside City Hall illegal shortly after 10 p.m. CT.
Forty-four people were arrested Tuesday night in Ferguson, most for misdemeanor crimes, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said at a news conference. Four of the arrests were for a felony charge — one for unlawful use of a weapon, and three for assault on police.
Bottles, rocks, pieces of concrete, and a Molotov cocktail were thrown at officers, officials said. Police also confiscated two weapons.
Belmar said protesters damaged several windows at Ferguson City Hall and vandalized a police vehicle, and a Molotov cocktail was recovered at the scene. Despite the incidents, officials said it was “generally a much better night” after the fiery chaos that erupted on Monday.
The acts of unrest intruded on what had otherwise been a narrative centered on self-policing and restraint on the part of hundreds, if not thousands, of protesters who took to the streets Tuesday night in cities from New York to Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas, Phoenix, Portland, and Boston.
Before the unrest, the cumulative effect was mostly limited to bringing traffic to a halt on major thoroughfares. In New York, Times Square was brought to a complete standstill as protesters walked amid a virtual parking lot.
In Oakland, protesters set fire to trash dumpsters and debris across major thoroughfares, while the California Highway Patrol office reported being hit with rocks and other items. In L.A., some protesters spray-painted buildings and threw bottles at officers lined up outside police headquarters.
In L.A., protesters stole barricades and arranged them across the busy 101 freeway near downtown, forcing a full closure. In Portland, protesters closed the double-decker Marquam Bridge.
Until the unrest started to unfold, local authorities in the cities affected by the marches had reported few if any arrests. But as the night wore on, it was unclear how far police agencies would allow protesters to go before taking a more hard line as more arrests — mostly for vandalism — started to pop up.
Still, it was a far cry from Monday night, when a St. Louis County grand jury’s decision against indicting Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, who fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown, sparked a night of violence and destruction.
When it was all said and done, more than 80 people had been arrested, and dozens of buildings and vehicles reduced to ashes and rubble.
In an interview with CNN, Brown’s great-uncle Rev. Charles Ewing said the family were heartened by the widespread show of support, but reiterated their opposition to acts of vandalism or violence.
He cited the damage done to dozens of Ferguson businesses and vehicles the night before.
“Violence is not the answer,” Ewing said. “It’s very unnecessary and it’s not proving a point at all.”
Officers sprayed mace into the crowd outside the Ferguson Police Department, and some in the crowd threw bottles and other objects toward police.
Officers then again called an unlawful assembly.
Many protesters stayed, and some said those who had been throwing items had already left.
Police moved into the crowd, forcing people out of the parking lot where they had assembled.
“Get back or you’re going to jail. Move back,” one officer said.
Some smashed glass as they left the area, to the disapproval of others in the crowd.
Authorities declared an unlawful assembly around 11:20 p.m. ET, and told the crowd to return to their homes.
Anyone who didn’t leave was threatened with arrest.
A police cruiser was flipped, vandalized, and torched Tuesday night outside Ferguson City Hall.
Police moved in with tear gas and armored vehicles just after 11 p.m. ET.
The increase in force may have come after Molotov cocktails were thrown at police outside of City Hall.
Another police car was vandalized Tuesday night.
Several windows were also broken at Ferguson City Hall.
Video shows the beginning of the fire as well as Molotov cocktails.
The National Guard stood in formation outside the Ferguson Police Department Tuesday night.
Some in the crowd of protesters threw bottles.
Tensions flared after authorities in Ferguson made at least two arrests Tuesday night.
A 20-year-old man who police believe was murdered early Tuesday morning in Ferguson has been identified.
Deandre I. Joshua of University City was found dead inside a car not far from where Michael Brown was killed in August. Police believe he was killed several hours before he was found around 9 a.m.
A medical examiner said he had one gunshot wound to the head. His killer apparently tried to burn his body; accelerant was found, and he had several burns, police said. The fire appeared to have gone out on its own.
Authorities found friends and family in the area who said they had been with Joshua Monday evening. The investigation remained ongoing.
Joshua was a friend of Dorian Johnson, who was walking with Michael Brown before he was killed.
Police have not suggested a motive for Joshua’s death, and the St. Louis County police chief said it could be connected with Monday night’s protests.
President Barack Obama spoke in Chicago Tuesday evening on immigration issues, but first addressed the situation in Ferguson.
Obama said there was “no excuse” for the destruction and violence that took place Monday night and added that “criminal acts” should be prosecuted.
“The frustrations people have generally — those are rooted in some hard truths that have to be addressed,” the president acknowledged.
Obama said he would work with the people of Ferguson to move forward constructively, saying, “Your president will work with you.”
He also noted, “The problem is not just a Ferguson problem, it is an American problem.”
The president mentioned specific things that would be done to fix structural failures, such as training police properly, which he said “improves policing and makes people feel that the system is fair.”
He also said that with Attorney General Eric Holder he would convene state and local officials, law enforcement, community officials, and faith leaders, to determine steps to take to make sure law enforcement is applied fairly everywhere.
A man was found dead inside a car Tuesday morning near where Michael Brown was shot in August. Police believe the man, who has not been identified, was murdered.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said no information was immediately available on the circumstances or cause of the man’s death. But he said he could not rule out that it was related to the protests.
“At this point, I certainly couldn’t discount that,” he said.
Belmar spoke with Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson Tuesday afternoon as more protests were expected. Both men said they would work to prevent a repeat of Monday night’s property damage.
Still, Belmar said officers did the best they could as looting and arson took place over four square miles.
“I’m not sure there were mistakes,” he said.
Police could foresee protests centering around the Ferguson Police Department, but he said he was surprised that much of the destruction took place on West Florissant.
“It’s very difficult then to take a guess at where else we might have problems,” he said.
He characterized Monday’s destruction as the actions of a small group of people set on violence.
“They’re taking advantage of the community,” he said, “and individuals are taking advantage of Mr. Brown’s life and legacy.”
Johnson said he was sorry for what the Ferguson community endured Monday night.
“They woke up, and they were heartbroken,” he said.
He added that officers did the best they could.
“You know that we did not let this happen,” he said.
BuzzFeed News reached out to Library Director Scott Bonner for comment:
Libraries are famous for squeezing every dollar, making the most of what we have. This will greatly enhance our limited budget, opening up options to help the community, build more community-focused programming, and make some long-overdue updates to our offerings and infrastructure. I don’t feel comfortable sharing how much we’ve received yet, in part because it just doesn’t seem real yet, but I can say that over 2,000 people have donated, that the figure is 5 digits. What I hope is that I can hire a full-time children’s/programming librarian because of these efforts. Right now, I’m the only full-time person at the library, so my capacity for handling programming is limited. With a second, specialized librarian, our power to help the people of Ferguson will increase many times over.
Tom Namako, Claudia Koerner, Adolfo Flores, Tasneem Nashrulla, Jason Wells, Stacy-Marie Ishmael, and Jon Passantino contributed to this report.
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