Businesses Burned, Looted In Ferguson In Wake Of Police Shooting
FERGUSON, Mo. (KMOX) – An officer-involved shooting on Saturday in Ferguson set off heavy rioting in the St. Louis suburb on Sunday night.
On Saturday 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer. According to St. Louis County police chief Jon Belmar, Brown had struggled with the officer over his sidearm.
Belmar did not say what led to the initial encounter, but St. Louis alderman Antonio French said the looting started at the QuikTrip where the police encounter with Brown began on Saturday.
After dark last night, the rioting began.
Looters smashed windows, took merchandise, ransacked and ATM and ultimately set fire to the QuikTrip. KMOX’s Michael Calhoun was on the scene as this all unfolded.
Several other businesses in the area were hit hard, including a Wal-Mart at I-270 and Dunn Road where more than a dozen employees reportedly barricaded themselves inside as looters made their way through the store.
Police in riot gear ringed the zone. In some areas, officers radioed that they were surrounded by an angry mob. Rocks and bottles were thrown, one hitting a St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter in the head. Windows were smashed out of a KMOV-TV news vehicle.
Police waited out out the looters until early Monday morning, then moved in to make arrests; 30 people were arrested in the wake of the riots.
The St. Louis riots have made worldwide attention. The international computer hacker group Anonymous threatened to release the names and addresses of all police officers involved in Saturday’s shooting incident.
The Reverend Al Sharpton is planning to visit Michael Brown’s family today or tomorrow. Sharpton called the shooting “very disturbing.”
Senator Claire McCaskill has also commented on the situation. In a statement released Monday morning, McCaskill said, “As a mother, I grieve for this child and his family. I pray that the wonderful, hardworking, and God-loving people of Ferguson will find peace and patience as we wait for the results of what will be numerous and thorough investigations of what happened. I, like so many other Missourians, will not be satisfied until we have a complete and transparent understanding of all the facts and circumstances that led to this young man’s death.”
Next comes the investigations. KMOX has learned that the FBI has opened an investigation into possible civil rights violations.