The planned Ferguson rallies to commemorate one year since the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown were supposed to be peaceful. But, on Aug. 10, things took a deadly turn after tensions between police and protestors rose to a violent level.
The night brought on the clashes between protestors and the police resulting in dozens of arrests. Last year, the governor had to deploy the National Guard due to all the chaos that was going on. This year, County Executive Steve Stenger placed St. Louis County in a state of emergency after an alleged violent night of protesting ransacked Ferguson once again.
Even though it happened to be calm, it was nothing like it had been 24 hours earlier when the police opened fire on a young man for allegedly shooting at them. The 18-year old, who has now identified as Tyrone Harris Jr. of St. Louis, was reportedly shot 8 to 12 times.
According to police, he shot at an unmarked car full of detectives on Aug. 9. Then, police said, they fired back and reportedly found a stolen 9-millimeter Sig Sauer next to Harris after they shot him.
On the other hand Harris’ grandmother said that his girlfriend, who had been with Harris, told her that he was actually running away to escape the gunfire. The grandmother didn’t know if Harris was armed or not.
The St. Louis county executive, Steve Stenger was prompted to declare a state of emergency and put the police chief Jon Belmar in charge of dealing with the protests. It didn’t result in a curfew like last year and this all helped in averting a crisis and raising hopes throughout the city.
Before dusk on Monday, protests throughout Ferguson led to dozens of arrests including 60 after a short shutdown of interstate 70. Another 57 people were arrested outside of the federal courthouse in St. Louis.
We hope the city returns to peace, soon.