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Ferguson Protesters Protect Stores from Looters, Riots As Police Hold Back

Categories: Michael Brown

teargas.jpg
Danny Wicentowski
Tear gas fired in Ferguson.
How can police keep people safe when their very presence incites fury and rioting?

That's the problem Ferguson faced as a seventh day of rage sparked by the killing of unarmed eighteen-year-old Michael Brown brought more riots, looting, militarized police and tear gas to this typically quiet suburb. As rioters broke into Ferguson Market and Liquor (where Brown allegedly stole cigars before he was shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson), Feel Beauty Supply, a meat market and an electronics store, peaceful demonstrators were quick to guard businesses themselves, putting their bodies between the smashed storefronts and looters with covered faces.

See all Riverfront Times coverage on Michael Brown and Ferguson.

Except for a tear-gas canister thrown at the beginning of the rioting before midnight, police held back, following cues from community leaders trying to negotiate peace with angry rioters.

Peaceful protests in Ferguson had quieted down Friday night, leading many of the community leaders and journalists who've spent a chaotic and exhausting week on the scene to go home or spend time with loved ones.

But the peace broke at Ferguson Market, where an angry crowd of about 200 rioters surrounded officers protecting the store, according to media interviews with Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson and St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar. Police used tear gas to disperse the crowd and remove officers behind the line set up at West Florissant and Ferguson avenues.


Protesters regrouped in the street, kneeling with backs to police and linking arms. Two of the well-known faces keeping peace in the conflict -- Alderman Antonio French and activist Anthony Shahid -- convinced the crowd to hold off as they conferred with Johnson, according to French.

Officials agreed to hold back and to stop shouting orders through a bullhorn, which seemed to incite more anger from demonstrators, if the protesters moved their line away from police and back toward Ferguson Avenue.


Suddenly, the sound of breaking glass signaled a new round of looting, starting with Feel Beauty Supply and spreading rapidly to about five businesses in the area. For the first time since Sunday night, looters filled their arms with beauty products, electronics, alcohol, food and whatever else they could carry.

Anyone who has watched night after night of unrest in Ferguson could have expected to see riot police descend on the looters in full force, as they have on protesters for several nights.
Instead, something amazing happened:

Many watching the looting began to question why police, especially new leader Johnson, weren't stopping looters.

French had an answer for them:

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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78 comments
glamourfox666
glamourfox666

I guess the fact that 12 buildings burned and many businesses were looted doesn't mean anything to these idiots.

markie19
markie19


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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Terry Iverson
Terry Iverson

This is truly the black community, not the thugs that try to tear it down in the name of justice

Merideth Scott-Green
Merideth Scott-Green

No, Reshia :) I was replying to a man who said simply, "I bet some of the protestor's trying to stop the looting are ex looters". I don't recall saying anything about blacks, whites or jobs :)

Donny Cox
Donny Cox

Merideth Scott-Green I think I love u....

Reshia Roy-Holman
Reshia Roy-Holman

You don't know that they don't have jobs. Not all Black people are jobless and not all Whites have a job.

Reshia Roy-Holman
Reshia Roy-Holman

Are you saying or implying that the men protecting the businesses from looters are ex-looters?

Mark Sullivan
Mark Sullivan

Just proves the point, it's not the citizens of Ferguson doing the looting, it's people from outside the community of Ferguson

Tyrone Austin
Tyrone Austin

KARMA ..... KARMA ,,,, Things like this always come back to bite you. Mike pushed the store clerk by the neck the cop grab Mike by the neck. lol Karma....... Let's just say "CAUSE & EFFECT". Because a broke kid went to the store to get some rellows (but had enough for weed) on his way back home to smoke , He meat up with this cop name Darrel Wilson. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbPbX76cOVQ Published on Aug 15, 2014 A woman named "Josie" calls in to tell Dana Darren Williams side of the story. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzBdY6WXeRE&feature=youtu.be 911 tape http://youtu.be/zta9FyoA7TU The shoplifting incident never came over the radio. The shots fired was the cop shooting, Fox2Now reported it to Ferguson Police,

Merideth Scott-Green
Merideth Scott-Green

Ex looting is not a crime :) Good, I hope they are and I hope the people mixing themselves up in the mischief and crime have the opportunity to see ex-looters setting a different example for the community and it's youth. Lead by example.

Donny Cox
Donny Cox

I bet some of the protestor's trying to stop the looting are ex looters

Mark Wegmann
Mark Wegmann

This was very inspiring, I'd have to ask, what is the end game? a fair trial, well based on the justice dept and state being involved I'm sure that will happen, any other requests? now they all need to go home before Midnight, so only the thugs get gassed and shot and not the good people of Ferguson.

Jodi Schlosser
Jodi Schlosser

Yes, cops have killed people. People have killed cops.

Jodi Schlosser
Jodi Schlosser

You would be the racist Kymberlie since you are the one associating the word thug to black people.

Timothy Venable
Timothy Venable

thug (thg) n. 1. A cutthroat or ruffian; a hoodlum. 2. also Thug One of a band of professional assassins formerly active in northern India who worshiped Kali and offered their victims to her. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Timothy Venable
Timothy Venable

If they were white , black asian , indian . if they were looting and rioting they would be thugs

Timothy Venable
Timothy Venable

" These thugs " Pretty much explains it. The people breaking into and looting businesses in that neighborhood and burning them. Never did I say anything about them other than calling them "thugs " explain to me were that is even close to being about race please. You are bringing race into it by your comment. Sorry if that offends you Kimberlie. That is quite a stretch to link my comment to race.

Chris Alix
Chris Alix

This week has seen four things for which there is no excuse, in chronological order: a man robbing a convenience store; a police officer killing an unarmed man; police officers using excessive tactics against peaceful protesters; and thugs taking advantage of unrest to vandalize and steal. None of these acts justifies any of the others, and addressing any of them will require a concerted effort by responsible members of the community long beyond the point when the media loses interest.

Kymberlie Venus
Kymberlie Venus

you say it's not about race yet you say "these thugs"..you are like a walking contradiction. what do you mean by these thugs. please explain....

Kevin Domkoski
Kevin Domkoski

This picture was taken when the loot was already gone... Protecting?...

Shawn McCarthy
Shawn McCarthy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdL9dqkyjhM You have GOT to watch this video. Check it out just before the 7 minute mark. A local man, who SAW the shooting says: He was running away from the police, the police had his gun drawn, next thing I know he DOUBLED BACK AND RAN AT THE POLICE! The truth, shall set you free...

Timothy Venable
Timothy Venable

Glad to see the good people start to take responsibility to make things better for their community. Good for them. Hope the good takes over the bad. People can protest and be civil. They have that right.

Kevin Rudroff
Kevin Rudroff

Your right. Wrap this one around your thoughts. Never get in the way of an enemy making a mistake. Peace

Timothy Venable
Timothy Venable

OK.... So They release a video of the " GENTLE GIANT " Robbing a store by FORCE. So these THUGS decide to go loot the store ? Why ? Is it now the store owners fault that Mike Brown was killed ??? This is about the culture these people live in. Nothing is THEIR FAULT. Lets blame everyone else for what is wrong with us. This is NOT A RACE ISSUE in the scene that the white officer shot and killed a BLACK Mike Brown. The issue is that the people the parents the neighbors in these community do not RAISE THEIR KIDS, They allow the streets to raise their kids. This is what happens when you are not involved with your kids, and your communities. It does not matter if it is a White or black or Asian community. When you fail your kids and your community by burring your head in the sand this is what you see when you pull it out. GET INVOLVED IN A POSITIVE WAY. If you see your child ( no matter what age they are ) in any of the picture of looting. Turn them in. ........ Sound hard doesn't it ??? Being a GOOD parent or a GOOD neighbor is not easy. wHEN YOU TAKE THE easy road THIS IS THE MESS YOU END UP WITH !!!!!!!! stop the looting. take responsibility !!!!!!!! YOU WANT YOUR NEIGHBORHOODS BACK ?????? It will take time and responsibility , hard work and LOVE. GOOD LUCK.

Sharon Walker
Sharon Walker

I am so very mad at how this young man was shot to death in the middle of the street. I am very proud of the protesters standing up and saying enough is enough. I am also seriously disappointed at the criminals who are using this time as an excuse to commit a crime. Now is not the time for nonsense. People need to be personally responsible for their personal actions. Being mad doesn't justify looting and burning innocent people's businesses And BTW....crippling the police departments is not the answer. As mad as we all get, we still NEED the police. Media needs to keep covering all this so we know what is going on. The media is NOT the problem. Each of us has a personal responsibility to control ourselves....even when we are mad.

Nick Venable
Nick Venable

I for one am glad to see those legitimate protestors standing up to and against those who are simply taking advantage of a horrible situation for their own selfish purposes. I say good on them.

Kevin Rudroff
Kevin Rudroff

Leave America? Where does that even come from? So you enjoy debates? What else do you enjoy that your not good at?

Christopher Layman
Christopher Layman

A cop is not synonymous with murderer. Neither is protester synonymous with theif.

Kevin Rudroff
Kevin Rudroff

And again you've only proven that your prejudices in assuming I'm a liberal,which in reality I am not.

Scott Shoemaker
Scott Shoemaker

Kevin if you don't like America you can leave at any time. Freedom is yours.

Laura Dee
Laura Dee

Once a protester turns to looting, they aren't protesting any more. They go from being protesters to looters. You can't be both because the definition of protest is a legal action whereas looting is illegal.

Kevin Rudroff
Kevin Rudroff

Some subjects require altercation to be solved and for new ideas to arise

Scott Shoemaker
Scott Shoemaker

Liberals label. When they don't have a point they use personal attacks. Ignore facts etc etc. It's all in the lib handbook. I enjoy debate. Gets to the truth. Sadly some don't want to except what is real.

Kevin Rudroff
Kevin Rudroff

Don't assume everyone thinks in the same manner you do Scott

Laura Dee
Laura Dee

So you don't think cops have ever murdered someone? Are you just hiding under a box? Smh.

Kyle MacCárthaigh
Kyle MacCárthaigh

This short exchange is a prime example of how things escalate. Imagine two people talking like this in person. Someone says something. Someone disagrees. The conversation grows to be about more than what was originally said. More disagreement. Personal attacks. And in person, it can spiral out of control from there. I'm not casting dispursions on either of you. I'm saying this because you appear to represent two different, unwavering viewpoints. (Which is absolutely your right.) But imagine two people in person having the same conversation. You can see how it could go further. Maybe it gets more personal. Maybe it gets more heated. Maybe someone shoves someone and it goes from there. Now imagine two groups of hundreds having what started as the same conversation. *We* need to be better.

Scott Shoemaker
Scott Shoemaker

If you believe the theory that a cop can be a murderer then you must believe a protestor can be a thief. Perhaps human behavioral physiology is over your head. I apologize .

Kevin Rudroff
Kevin Rudroff

Misplaced argument Cameron jolly. Protesters are mistreated around the world and here in america we actually have the right to do so. The argument is that not all protesters are rioters and actually a small percentage of them are.

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