FERGUSON, Mo. (KMOX) – Ferguson is on edge after a fragile peace was shattered by rioting and looting again.
What began Friday night as a peaceful protest near the hollowed-out QuikTrip store quickly turned ugly when a large crowd converged a few blocks away, at the convenience store that Michael Brown was accused of robbing.
Just before midnight Saturday morning, some in what had been a large and rowdy but mostly well-behaved crowd, broke into that convenience store and began looting it.
Police and about 200 protestors clashed. Police again brought out the riot gear and gas masks to quell with what Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson called a riot of 200 people. Johnson said some in the crowd began throwing rocks and other objects at officers. Johnson said during a Saturday afternoon news conference that three officers were injured but details on the injuries were not immediately available.
Police used tear gas to disburse the crowd but no arrests were made.
Johnson said police backed off to try and ease the tension. Looting spread to a couple of nearby stores.
Some of the protesters at the scene actually helped police hold down the damage.
Watch the video below from KMOX’s Michael Calhoun. He spoke to a group of men who were keeping looters out. (Note: This video has been edited due to graphic language)
People stood in the shattered doors of businesses to chase looters away. A local pastor, Derrick Robinson, helped coordinate the effort.
“One of the things that I did was to go around to the different stores and make sure we had people there, guarding the stores,” he explained. “We don’t want a bad reputation for our community.”
Still, several business were ransacked and now state and local officials are rethinking their strategies.
Cleanup was underway at sunrise. Despite a steady rain, several volunteers showed up to help.