FERGUSON, Mo. (KMOX) – At a media briefing around 2:15 a.m. Wednesday, Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson said 47 arrests were made after a night of protests that started out peacefully.
Johnson said that no smoke bombs or tear gas was used by police, but they did use mace.
“Tonight we saw a different dynamic,” Capt. Johnson said. “Protests crowds were a bit smaller. There were no Molotov cocktails tonight.”
There were no shootings, but a threat was made against officers. Around 8:30 p.m., police identified the vehicle in the area near the command post and located two handguns.
When asked what triggered the disturbance around 12 a.m., Johnson said that agitators embedded themselves and hid behind media. He said that they threw both glass and plastic bottles at officers, and also threw urine on them. That’s what caused officers to take action and make arrests, he said.
Johnson said that one of the arrestees was an out-of-state violator who was arrested for the third time.
Johnson said that citizens helped officers detect criminals and agitators by coming out early in the day to protest, rather than at night.
“I believe there was turning point,” Johnson said. “I believe that was made by the clergy, the activists, the volunteers, the citizens and the law enforcement who partnered together to make a difference.”
Johnson said they are always reassessing their operational plan and coming up with ways to preserve the rights of people who come out to peacefully protest. Johnson said that tonight, the elders in the community came out in large numbers and walked and talked with people.
“We are making steps,” Johnson said. “They’re not big giant steps, they’re small steps. But those small steps are going to turn into giant steps, and those steps will turn into strides for this community.”
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