Violence Escalates In Ferguson As Police And Protesters Clash

Developing: Police fire smoke bombs and tear gas in the streets Wednesday night as protesters toss Molotov cocktails after the death of Michael Brown.

1. Update — August 14, 8:49 a.m. ET

AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, David Carson

A protester engulfed in smoke Wednesday.

3. Five days after Michael Brown was killed by a police officer, the violence in Ferguson, Mo., showed no sign of slowing down Wednesday.

As night fell, police in Ferguson fired tear gas into crowds. Live video footage showed dense clouds wafting past people running in the streets with occasional explosions lighting up the scene and casting shadows onto the smoke.

After firing, the police marched toward a group gathered at a burned-out gas station, CNN reported.

Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

A protester throws back a smoke bomb Wednesday night.

Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

Riot police clear a street with smoke bombs Wednesday.

6. In a video shot by KTVI-TV, police order the crowds to disperse, then activate sirens, fire gas canisters, and begin advancing.

8. Instagram user cjw_stl later posted pictures of the canisters police fired.

11. Video and pictures from the scene also showed a gas canister landing near a news truck just as the crew was about to do a live shot.

PHOTOS: Police fire tear gas near Al Jazeera crew, then disassemble the gear after they flee. #Ferguson

— Cassidy Moody (@CassFM)

13. The Associated Press reported that officers were responding to people who lobbed Molotov cocktails. Photos showed groups of people attempting to light the homemade bombs during the violence.

Protesters try unsuccessfully to light a Molotov cocktail as police ready to advance in #Ferguson Pic by @pdchris

— Lynden Steele (@manofsteele)

#Ferguson protesters attempting to light Molotov cocktail

— David Carson (@PDPJ)

16. Reports circulated late Wednesday that Antonio French, a St. Louis alderman who has extensively covered the conflicts, was arrested.

.@TefPoe reporting that the man who has given us the best coverage from #Ferguson, @AntonioFrench has been arrested

— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik)

St. Louis alderman @AntonioFrench has apparently been arrested tonight during the protests in #Ferguson, according to his wife and friends

— Joel D. Anderson (@blackink12)

@MichaelSkolnik He was arrested, in Ferguson jail right now @AntonioFrench

— Senka (@senka)

20. French was released just before 7:20 a.m. CT Thursday.

Antonio French released just now #Ferguson

— Laurie Skrivan (@LaurieSkrivan)

21. Upon his release, French told a Fox2Now reporter:

About 15 minutes before 9 p.m., out of nowhere it seems, the police said this is no longer a peaceful assembly” and said the crowd should disperse. A lot of people stayed. Eventually, the police threw smoke bombs into the crowd, people began to run thinking it was tear gas. When they realized it wasn’t tear gas they started to come back, eventually the police started to move forward with tear gas, and that’s when the chaos started.

22. French said that he had returned to his car at the time of his arrest in order to shelter from the tear gas.

23. Police arrested at least 18 other people, according to CNN’s Brian Stelter. A total of 47 people have been arrested since Brown was killed, CNN reported.

@TheRyanParker @weeddude arrest count at 11pm PT was 18, ferguson police chief told CNN.

— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter)

25. Other photos showed scenes of chaos, as police clashed with those on the street.

AP Photo / Jeff Roberson

26. The violence Wednesday night came after two journalists were arrested earlier in a McDonald’s.

Photo of reporter I believe to be @ryanjreilly being cuffed and put in a police van minutes ago in #Ferguson

— Jon Swaine (@jonswaine)

28. President Obama was briefed on the situation Wednesday night after attending a birthday party. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon also issued a statement Wednesday saying the conflict “does not represent who we are.”

Situation in Ferguson does not represent who we are. Must keep the peace, while safeguarding rights of citizens and the press

— Governor Jay Nixon (@GovJayNixon)

Closely monitoring situation & will be in North STL Co tomorrow. Ask for calm & urge law enforcement to respect rights of residents & press

— Governor Jay Nixon (@GovJayNixon)

31. A small group of people gathered outside the Ferguson Police Department for a protest, CNN reported.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates and follow BuzzFeed News on Twitter.

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Jim Dalrymple is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Contact Jim Dalrymple II at
Francis Whittaker is a homepage editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Francis Whittaker at
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