VIDEO: A Night of Anger, Violence in Ferguson After Michael Brown Memorial Burns

Categories: Ferguson

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Ferguson protesters demonstrate outside the beauty store that had its windows smashed that night.
By the time night fell in Ferguson on September 23, anger and frustration had been brewing all day long.

First, there was the disappointing news that the grand jury tasked with charging (or not charging) Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson won't make a decision for weeks.

Then part of the makeshift memorial built where Michael Brown, the unarmed teen Wilson shot to death, burnt to ashes in the early morning.


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ACLU: Police Used "Five Second Rule" to Arrest Ferguson Protesters at Random

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Danny Wicentowski
Officers arresting protesters the night of August 18. Nineteen people were charged with failing to disperse that day.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri argued to a federal judge Monday that St. Louis County and Missouri State Highway Patrol are enforcing an unconstitutional "five second rule" that allows cops to arrest protesters at will.

Known as either the "five second rule" or "keep moving rule," the controversial police tactic was sprung on protesters August 18, nine days after Ferguson cop Darren Wilson shot and killed eighteen-year-old Michael Brown. Police threatened protesters with arrest if they stopped moving, forcing crowds into grueling marches to avoid violating the ill-defined rule.

According to the witnesses brought by the ACLU, police used the tactic arbitrarily, harassing some protesters and letting others go. St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar admitted yesterday the rule even confused officers, who misinterpreted his orders and used the "five second rule" to arrest protesters during the peaceful daytime hours.

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As Clergy Join Ferguson Protesters, Capt. Ron Johnson Says He Wants Dialogue

Categories: Ferguson

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Ray Downs
Several clergy members kneel down in prayer in front of the Ferguson Police Department.
Protesters gathered in front of the Ferguson Police Department again Monday night, refusing to move from the street, despite warnings from the police that they would be arrested. But after Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson arrived on the scene, police largely held back, and only one man -- a pastor -- was arrested after a night where several clergy members came out to support the Ferguson protesters.

Reverend Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou, a St. Louis native who is the pastor at the First Baptist Church in Boston, was arrested for "failure to disperse" after he knelt down to pray in front of the police station in an act of civil disobedience.

The arrest came not long after several clergy members knelt down to pray in front of the police station with protesters behind them. Some protesters joined in prayer and hymns. Several police officers looked on as one warned protesters and clergy to move onto the sidewalk or face arrest.

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Independent Journalist in Ferguson Gets Equipment Robbed While Sitting in Jail

Categories: Ferguson

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Bassem Masri/Facebook
An independent journalist who has been live-streaming the Ferguson protests for several weeks says all of his equipment was robbed from his car after police searched his car and didn't lock his doors after they put him under arrest for unpaid traffic tickets.

Bassem Masri, a St. Louis native who works as a distribution manager by day and an activist journalist by night, is suspicious about the arrest because the night before it happened, state troopers pulled him over and tried to do a background check, but weren't able to because their system was temporarily down.

"I'm always honest with the police," Masri tells Daily RFT. "When they pulled me over, I tell them, 'Look, I have a few warrants.' But they couldn't look it up because their system was down, so they let me go."

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Why Uber Won't Look Anything Like Lyft When It Launches in St. Louis

Categories: Bidness

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Uber
Uber BLACK doesn't look anything like Lyft -- and we don't just mean the pink mustaches.
Remember back when Lyft tried to launch in St. Louis?

Cars wearing pink mustaches burst forth from Cherokee Street to offer rides to the taxicab-averse at the touch of a smartphone -- until police started pulling over any car with furry facial hair for not having a taxi license.

Months passed, and now St. Louis is faced with the very real possibility that Uber, Lyft's better-known rival, could launch here next week. Uber is being coy about a firm launch date, but if the Metropolitan Taxicab Commission approves its application on October 7, as it plans to do, Uber could start offering rides that day.


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Riverfront Times Wins Missouri Press Association Awards

Categories: Media

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Jennifer Silverberg
Jessica Lussenhop's story of the former inmates and competitive handballers who play in Forest Park took first place for sports features.
The Missouri Press Association announced the winners of its Better Newspaper Contest last weekend, and Riverfront Times picked up awards for its feature writing and website.

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The St. Louis Cardinals Are America's Most Hateable Playoff Team: WSJ

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Jon Gitchoff
How can you hate these fans, America? Oh, right, because the St. Louis Cardinals can't stop winning.
Move over, New York Yankees. We'll take it from here.

The St. Louis Cardinals is the most hateable team in the Major League Baseball post-season, according to a sort-of-scientific report from the Wall Street Journal.

What makes a team hateable? Beards, mostly. Also teams with swollen payrolls, juicing players and haughty fan bases.

On a scale that assigns points for every hateable trait (the more points, the more hated you are), St. Louis earned an impressive 12.7 points, especially thanks to the team's winning past and the ill-earned "best fans in baseball" moniker. Winning four league titles in ten years really propelled St. Louis above any other team, including second-place winners the LA Dodgers, who scored a 10.8.


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Muslim Prisoner Sues Springfield Jail for Denying Him Access to Quran

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Cezary Piwowarski/Wikimedia
A Muslim prisoner is suing the jail he's locked up in because he claims it won't give him access to a Quran and a prayer rug.

Richard Ray McLendon Jr., who is locked up in the Greene County jail awaiting transfer to a federal prison in Illinois to serve a two-year stint for violating supervised release on a sex offender charge, filed a lawsuit against alleging he is not permitted to bring a Quran into the jail.

"I was told to get someone from the outside to send it from the publisher," McLendon wrote in the lawsuit, according to the Springfield News-Leader. "So I did, and I'm still being denied. There are Bibles everywhere."

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Uber is Coming to St. Louis, Could Start Premium Sedan Service Next Week

Categories: Bidness

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Uber
Uber BLACK will likely go live in St. Louis on October 7.
After months of negotiations, the ride-sharing app Uber could finally be on its way to launching in St. Louis.

The company applied Friday for its third-party dispatch license to operate its premium sedan service, Uber BLACK.

"We will be hopefully approving them on October 7, and they can get up and running," says MTC director Ron Klein to Daily RFT. Uber can start operating on October 7 with official approval.


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[UPDATED] Ferguson Protesters, Including the Lost Voices, Get Kicked Out of Protest Sites

Categories: Ferguson

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Photo by Mitch Ryals
Louis Wilson, Tremell Hason and Angelique Kidd are regular South Florissant Avenue protesters.
Since the death of Michael Brown, protesters have flocked to two parking lots to hold demonstrations, arriving early in the morning and sometimes sleeping in tents or on the ground.

There's the parking lot in front of Andy Wurm Tire and Wheel, on South Florissant Road, where Wurm gave permission to protesters to take turns holding signs as cars honk in support as long as they don't damage the property.

Then there's the encampment on West Florissant Avenue, where about twenty people were sleeping in tents in the parking lot of a former Ponderosa Steakhouse.

But protesters aren't allowed at either site anymore.

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