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Clayton Protest Over Michael Brown's Killing Stresses Peaceful Solution to Unrest

Categories: Michael Brown

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Photo by Mitch Ryals
Protesters demand justice for Michael Brown's death Tuesday morning at the St. Louis County Police station in Clayton
Fewer protesters showed up in Clayton Tuesday morning than in Ferguson the previous day, but their collective voice was just as loud.

The demonstration began outside the Buzz Westfall Justice Center with civil-rights activist Anthony Shahid using a pair of stuffed dogs and a noose around his neck as props to drive home his message.

"Black folks are being slaughtered like dogs," Shahid shouted to the line of police standing guard outside the justice center. "Y'all doggin' us. Y'all supposed to protect and serve, not kill us."

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Photo by Mitch Ryals
Juliette Jacobs encourages protesters to write down solutions to the problems surrounding Michael Brown's death
The officers wore their usual uniforms, no riot gear, though they did have gas masks and zip ties hanging from their belts. St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch, who the protesters hoped to address with their demonstration, never visibly acknowledged the crowd.

After Shahid's speech, the group moved down Carondelet Avenue with curious office workers in downtown Clayton looking on from the sidewalk. The protesters soon reached the St. Louis County Police Department on South Central Avenue and then circled back to the Justice Center. As they marched, they sang out the what's become a common refrain since the police killing of eighteen-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson: "No justice, no peace!" and "Hands up, don't shoot!"

By noon, the crowd of 300 people dwindled to about 50.

Volunteers for Pink House, a project of the non-profit Rebuild Foundation, along with volunteers for the Organization for Black Struggle, passed out poster board and markers to those remaining.

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Photo by Mitch Ryals
Protester extends a hand in prayer to a Clayton police officer.
"Given what's happened the past two nights, we thought a lot of people are being told what not to do," said Gina Martinez, an organizer for Pink House. "So we're telling people to write down solutions, and we're going to create a large scale solutions wall, and start to take it around to the different protests."

Eventually, Clayton police told the remaining protesters they had to move off the street but could remain on the sidewalks as long as they wanted. Shortly after, the crowd approached the entrance to the building and the officers standing in front of it for a prayer. One woman offered her hand to an officer, but he didn't take it.

Many protesters acknowledged that anger and frustration is reasonable, even acceptable in this situation, but violence and crime is not.

"We need collaboration now," said Elizabeth Vega, a volunteer with the Organization for Black Struggle. "I'm seeing a lot of angry young people who want to express a voice, but have not been shown the tools to do that in a way that is channeling the anger."

Read RFT's full coverage of the police killing of Michael Brown and the unrest in Ferguson.


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34 comments
markie19
markie19 topcommenter


11 days ago

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DeleteShareLikeReplymarkie19Jul 20, 2014

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markie1918 hours ago


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Candice Duvall
Candice Duvall

For people like myself who don't have many resources....prayer and spreading the word through social media.

Jerry Oakley
Jerry Oakley

They dont want justice, they want revenge.

Sara Wilson Latiolais
Sara Wilson Latiolais

The amendment has not been changed (if it has please share your source) and it is not law they had to be inside. Sounds like it was more suggested or else.

Tim Corkill
Tim Corkill

They need to protest chesterfield and ofallon police also

Bushey Tina
Bushey Tina

Finally! What appears to be peaceful protesters actually looking at productive ways to make things better. Kudos to this group.

Tim Tennell
Tim Tennell

I think you may be right Rob, to which I think we all should be slightly afraid. The militarization of the police force combined with the drive to enact draconian gun laws feels ominous.

Tim Tennell
Tim Tennell

so the 1st amendment only applies when the sun is up?

Tammy Dunn
Tammy Dunn

It's just not practical smart or does any good right now.

Tammy Dunn
Tammy Dunn

Why amass large groups of upset angry people in the first place. Don't you think we already KNOW we're all concerned? A peaceful group turns into a mob like flipping a switch. Be a good citizen, stay home and of the streets at night. Please don't add to the chaos till things cool down.

clinton.hutchins
clinton.hutchins

Wednesday, August 13, 2014: Clayton

St. Louis County prosecutor " smiling" Bob McCullough, was more than likely inside as the people gathered below to protest. Smiling Bob McCullough, has a long 24 year record of finding justifiable homicide in the cases of police officers shooting unarmed civilians. Does anybody remember the Jack-in-the-Box shooting on Hanley Road about 18 years ago? When a supposed drug deal was going down in the parking lot of the Jack-in-the-Box restaurant. Police officers had the parking lot under surveillance, with the unfortunate soul showed up and lost his life. He supposedly was using his car as a weapon, the videotape record did not show any officer whose life was in danger. Just as in this case of Michael Brown, there was a long wait before the County prosecutors office offered any type of explanation for the killing. So don't expect anything different smiling Bob McCullough.

Tim Tennell
Tim Tennell

Because they have a constitutional right to assemble in protest.

Melinda M Ray
Melinda M Ray

Nicole Weeden They are looking for positive clean up efforts!!

Jack Daniel Robinson
Jack Daniel Robinson

It was said that there are only 3 police officers in Ferguson who are not white. I'd venture to say that working in that neighborhood wasn't the white officers' first choice. If you want change, be the change. Get your education. Respect others. Be the good you want to see in the world. Young black men (and women for that matter) are capable of going through the police academy or getting a criminal justice degree and working as a law enforcement officer in their hometown neighborhoods. Nothing happens overnight. It took 6 days for God to create all that exists. And that's God working. For justice to be brought and the truth to be sought, it will take time. Let the passing time be peaceful.

Earl Kliethermes
Earl Kliethermes

They have all started out this way. At first sound of breaking glass it's a big free-for-all party.

eclark53
eclark53

You got that right.  A peaceful group can turn to a mob at the drop of a dime. 

Remember,   Friends, Romans and Countrymen, lend me your ears.    Shakespeare immortalized those words and let us remember how that peaceful event turned into a mob and killed Brutus. 


eclark53
eclark53

@clinton.hutchins Yes, I remember the Jack-in-the Box killing.  It was all somewhat suspect.  First the police refused to release the restaurant video of what happened on the lot.  And when they did, it was obviously tampered with.

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