Nun Threatened with Arrest in Ferguson; Residents Bemoan Police Presence

sister_mary2.JPG
Ray Downs
Sister Mary is threatened with arrest when asking police for an ambulance.
The unrest in Ferguson is largely being portrayed as a racial clash between the town's African American community and a largely white police force. And it pretty much is. But even a white-haired white lady can afoul of the increasingly militarized police presence in Ferguson.

Yesterday Daily RFT was on hand when an elderly white nun was threatened with arrest for coming too close to a police line.

See also: Police in Ferguson Shoot Tear Gas at Journalists, Arrest Reporters

On Wednesday police closed off the road where Michael Brown was killed, and a dozen officers in riot gear stood guard in front of a military armored truck. Anybody who came within 50 feet of the officers was threatened with arrest.

Several onlookers stood out in the street, some holding signs, some just angry and unable to resist coming out and watching the display of force in their neighborhood.

At one point Sister Mary, a nun who told Daily RFT she lives in the neighborhood, tried to ask police for an ambulance for her friend who had hurt his leg. But she came too close for comfort for the officers.

"Turn around, or you will be arrested, ma'am," said a booming voice over a loudspeaker. She pleaded but was repeatedly threatened with arrest. Finally, after several minutes, officers said she could bring her friend to the line so he could get access to an ambulance.

See also: Police Accused of Unnecessary Force as Third Night of Ferguson Protests End with Tear Gas

As she walked back, residents applauded her and called her brave. A young man walked up to her and have her a high-five.

"They can't be happy with what they're doing," Sister Mary said of the police, as she went to go get her friend.

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Ray Downs
St. Louis County police block off a residential street with military weapons and vehicles.
Elsewhere in Ferguson yesterday, resident after resident complained about the heavy police presence in their community.

Will Gidley lives just a few blocks from the police barricade. Standing on West Florissant after the tear gas cleared and police forces moved back, he couldn't help but laugh in disbelief when asked about the police presence.

"I think it's really excessive that they're mobilizing like this," he said while looking at the armored trucks and lines of riot police facing him.

And, he added, it causes a substantial inconvenience for people who live here.

"Forcing us into side streets and things like that so early in the day -- I heard they're forcing people as early as six o'clock," he said. "They're just running around being cowboys with military guns."

See Riverfront Times' complete coverage of Ferguson and the killing of Michael Brown

Standing on his front porch a mere three blocks from where police began launching tear gas and rubber bullets on protesters Wednesday night, another Ferguson resident told Daily RFT that he can't believe what's happening in his neighborhood. And he has a front-row seat -- his house is on Gage Drive, which runs adjacent to West Florissant Avenue where police have chased off protesters all week.

"I think it's kind of extreme what [the police] are doing. People are upset. Tension is high here. You can see it," he said.

He also feels that the police reaction this week is only exacerbating the problem.

"It has to stop. You can feel it. They're making it worse. I mean, earlier today, they had guys with sniper rifles pointed at kids. It didn't make any sense."

Follow Ray Downs on Twitter:

E-mail him at Ray.Downs@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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47 comments
markie19
markie19 topcommenter


11 days ago

READ SEE THE FRIEND IN THIS VIDEO CLIP THAT HAS BEEN GOING ON MOST PEOPLE HAVE BETRAYED ME CAREFUL IT COULD BE YOUR SPOUSE AND YOU COULD NEVER KNOW OR YOUR BEST FRIEND OR YOUR DOCTOR -MINE I THINK WAS GOING TO LET THEM KILL ME-HE IS INVOLVED DR BEACH READ MARKIE MC NIGHT I NEED DR PHIL DR BEACH HAD A CON MAN IN HIS OFFICE THAT DATED PEGGY AND WAS ON DR PHIL-MY MEDICAL RECORDS WERE STOLEN TOO-WATCH YOURS READ MARKIE MC NIGHTEdit (in 6 minutes)

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DeleteShareLikeReplymarkie19Jul 20, 2014

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markie1918 hours ago


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Bob Shaw
Bob Shaw

Fucktarts RFT Nothing but Fucktarts at RFT.

DeVon L Jackson
DeVon L Jackson

Sister your imaginary cloud deity is busy looking after the scarred rectums of your religions young victims and there is no god there why dont you go to Africa as a missionary and assist the ministry there maybe you wont be beheaded or catch ebola

Evets Neerg
Evets Neerg

How soon we forget about the looting and stealing from the stores.

Jim Reilly
Jim Reilly

Nuns. Always trouble. With the rosaries. Prayers. And all that doing good stuff? Really.

Wayne Light
Wayne Light

What sound advice can you get from a nun anyways. She thinks theres an invisible hippy in the clouds looking down and judging her at all times! Nut job!

Dawn Rednour
Dawn Rednour

Now the police are threatening nuns?? This is so far out of control

Bill Garthe
Bill Garthe

The police have done a good job considering the kind of people they have to deal with

Venomous Inkworks
Venomous Inkworks

Both sides are wrong as there are three sides to every story. I love the lynch mob mentality.(From both sides)

Duane Mathis
Duane Mathis

If you don't like cops quit callin them. See how that works

Mark Reynolds
Mark Reynolds

I think it is sad when a person named Brittain thinks it is okay for cops to mace children after killing an unarmed guy for no reason then fucking up the crime scene to cover their tyrannical asses

Tim Corkill
Tim Corkill

haha the nuns think our police are whack look out...the cops want to decide how we live they are giant assholes I vote for PAY CUTS for all of them..52000 a year is too much for unprofessional idiots

Robert George Crone
Robert George Crone

If your tired of the riverfront times beating this story over and over and over call Phone 314-754-5955 and express your opinion for them to move on and cover different news now. I did.

Jeep Naaked
Jeep Naaked

somebody... serious... needs to be fired..

Brittain Cameron
Brittain Cameron

Macing kids??? Why the hell do they let their kids around the crap going on. Keep your kids home where they belong!! I saw kids and babies in the middle of all the looting... Enough w the race card people. It's unfortunate that a young man lost his life, but if a cop feels threatened, he needs to do whatever it takes for his safety!! What is the excuse for the looting and riots?????? Exactly. Nothing.. Idiots

Zaba Mcfrog
Zaba Mcfrog

the truth is severely limited....overt smash and grab violence from factions who do not know where to prevail....who's voices are of a pack and solo not a lick of real thought.... stealing shoes...burning a gas (and looting it with pants half down)station for cigs and beer and Slurpee.... and jerky...its no longer this but that...guerrilla tactics raise the ...mob mentality to get the rims outa hard working folks place of employment ...for them....the real troubles come in just to make war.....not here in the moment...a who can we rob as a smash and grab group.....this bodes not good for innocent people caught in the pathetic pack mentality...not to mention burning down the local rib shack....that is a crime against humanity in the hood dearest darling'st divine sista...4 real info........ps yeah people die every day ...more so elsewhere ...certainly in numbers that merit our actions and commitment......this has become a corrupt cause for unruly behavior.....that is just half the story...who knows the truth behind the mistakes made in handling a grieving community....let my people pass ....serve and protect.....very real issues that are in play now in real down the street situation....we are the whole and thus we are all responsible for our governments actions...and the they referred to is a tactic of divide and conquer.....we do not need any violence from either side....disrobe ...sing....walk....and be peaceful......the million nude march will work as an attention grabber for truth to be heard........but not 40 cars pull into a parking lot and rape the community....where is the voice in that.......froggy out "the truth resonates louder than every ignorant tongue at once"...ROSIV....aka..phroggie....with love 6 mins Buck Caldwell 14 hours ago From the Hindsight Files: How Ferguson Protests should have been handled. Police should have shown up in regular uniforms, with regular handguns, and wandered the protests in pairs. Like the VP fair, or any other large gathering. Perhaps some mounted units, because horses are 1000 pounds of intimidation in a nearly universally friendly-appearing package. Let people assemble, even let them block traffic. Help them. Block streets so there's no risk of accidents. Have traffic cops at intersections directing traffic. Respond to looting (which probably wouldn't have happened without the idiocy). Since you're not blanketing the area, responding to individual problems should be no big deal. Don't arrest the press, or Aldermen, or ... well, anyone, unless they're, you know, COMMITTING A CRIME. Think twice, or three or four times, before you consider wearing camouflage in a major metropolitan area.

clinton.hutchins
clinton.hutchins

Thursday, August 14, 2014: peace

Peace Is a Joyful Thing and we all wish that we could have it. But unfortunately the Ferguson Police Department, and dozens of others in the municipalities around North County have never intended for the citizens of these communities to be in peace. If the cameras were not there, Michael Brown who was murdered by the police, would be just another blip on the screen.

Josh Jordan
Josh Jordan

A Nun was threatened with arrest? This is out of control.

Lorrain Louise
Lorrain Louise

wtf is going on with the ferguson cops? don't they realize that they are coming off as the bad guys here? time to freaking BACK OFF.

Candice Lanton
Candice Lanton

Now if a nun says the police are outta control then....I don't know what more evidence y'all need. Damn police out here macing kids and shit....arresting journalist that's only doin their jobs...don't want the world to see you doin dirt police? THEN STOP DOIN IT!!! #NoJusticeNoPeace

Kevin Warren
Kevin Warren

I guess the good sister calling 911 was out of the question?

Harrison Elfrink
Harrison Elfrink

Surely, even as a nun and a pious person, she was 'breaking the law' and acting "hostile."

Sean Bahr
Sean Bahr

Finally, after several minutes, officers said she could bring her friend to the line so he could get access to an ambulance.

Angela Turner
Angela Turner

Hahaha cuff her up! You guys are ridiculous!

rapixal
rapixal

And have you been here?

rapixal
rapixal

Because you don't understand that this is one of the Most important things going on in the nation and that the World is Watching!? Seriously have you no idea what is happening in this country, or are you just That removed?

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