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Peaceful Protest for Mike Brown Before Riot Police and Looting Takes Over

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Ray Downs
Protesters with "hands up."
On Sunday night in Ferguson, protesters held a vigil for Michael Brown, the unarmed eighteen-year-old who was gunned down by a police officer for reasons that are still unclear. The event started out peacefully, with many people holding signs and candles as they faced hundreds of cops in riot gear. But as the night wore on, vigil candle lights gave way to smashed windows.

At around 8 p.m. approximately 500 people marched from the Canfield Green apartment complex where Brown was fatally shot to a corner near the intersection of W. Florissant and Ferguson avenues. The protesters were met by dozens of police carrying shields and batons. Several cops wore gas masks.

See also:
- Family of Michael Brown, Teenager Shot to Death By Ferguson Police, Talks About His Life

- Ferguson Riots: North County Business Owners (Some Armed) Survey the Damage
- Police in Ferguson Fire Tear Gas on Protesters Standing in Their Own Backyard

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Ray Downs
Police in riot gear at the beginning of protest.
"Michael Brown was my second cousin," said a woman marching with two small children in tow. "These police say they are here to protect and serve. But instead they're slaughtering our children. They can't do that -- it needs to stop."
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Ray Downs
The protest itself didn't appear to have any major incidents. Several protesters stood in front of police and put their hands in the air -- a symbolic gesture referencing Brown, who witnesses say had put his hands in the air before the police officer shot him. At one point, a man with a megaphone who seemed to take on the role of a crowd-leader convinced several people to get on their knees and put their hands in the air directly in front of police.
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Ray Downs
Protesters kneel down and put their hands up in front of police.
"Stand down!" he said repeatedly as people got on their knees with both arms in the air while staring down the police. But in a sign of the disorganization among protesters, another man disagreed with the appearance of the gesture.

"We need to stand up!" he said. "Everyone stand up!"

A few people got off their knees and did so.

While the protest was peaceful, it was never tranquil. Anger seethed the entire evening, with protesters venting their frustration over what they described as too many years of mistreatment at the hands of the local police with Michael Brown being only the latest -- and possibly most egregious -- example.

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Ray Downs
Shouting directly into the faces of the police forming the barricade, several protesters called them cowards, child-killers and racists. One woman shouted, "Go home, pigs!" and throughout the night, the chant of "Fuck the police" would recur.

"The anger that you see here today is because for decades, the police have never taken any responsibility or have never been held accountable for police shootings," Jamala Rogers, president of the Organization for Black Struggle, told Daily RFT. "The rage, the anger is justifiable. But we have to direct in a way to create something more positive."

Rogers added that the OBS is working to organize people in the community to to enact changes in how police affect the community, including "know your rights" education.

"That way, we can avoid some of this before it happens," she said.

Most protesters did not engage in any police taunting, but of those who spoke to Daily RFT, the anger was similar. And one detail that was brought up repeatedly was that the officer who shot Brown is on "paid administrative leave" during the investigation.

Click on the next page for videos of police evacuating areas, looting, and more from Ferguson residents condemning the violence...



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45 comments
Reality
Reality

This world crucified Christ for the Truth.

So All I want to say is that they don't really care about us!!


Amazed
Amazed

First of all, if you're going to comment, you should check to see if what you wrote makes sense.Am I the only one who is amazed by this whole BS shooting? You have a black ADULT, not kid, who got shoot committing a crime! Police don't run around shooting folks for the hell of it, black, white, green or any other color! What you have is a troubled kid who took things to far and got what was coming to him. Let's see here... His dad was not in the picture, his mom and step dad are doing the press conferences, and he was raised by grandma.. Does anyone else see the writing on the wall here? It's another lost soul being a product of his environment here, nothing more! If mom and dad were so concerned, why weren't they a part of this mans life before he was shot? Why didn't THEY bring him up instead of putting that burden on grandma?

These people don't want justice, or peace, they want attention. If you don't think that's true turn the TV on and get educated. As soon as they start rolling the news camera, you have 20 people flip their phones out of their pocket, stand in the way of the shot, then wave at their friends. You clowns want attention and you're getting it. This isn't a black or white issue, it's a criminal one. Look how many businesses you people are destroying, and for what? You are putting your own hard working people (and race) out of business by your actions. If you could only see how stupid you look jumping out of windows with your stolen loot... You guys are pathetic, you're speaking for your race every time you act, good or bad. You're messages are coming across loud and clear, another group of uneducated criminal at their finest...

Has anybody looked at Mr innocent Brown's criminal record, I did. Go to MO Case Net, it's free and there. He's not a major criminal, but no stranger to the law, or jail. You not hearing any of that on the new though, are you. If that aired the story wouldn't be as good, so they're leaving that part out.

If you want justice then stop being your typical selves. Let the police, FBI and whoever else you want to investigate do their jobs. It's hard to investigate when all their attention has to be on the mom and pop store your breaking into. Let them do their jobs so justice can be done. The bottom line is it doesn't matter what the outcome is, you'll never be happy... Like someone else posted, blacks kill blacks daily. It's not a good story when that happens because it's only their race. Gang violence, mistrust or whatever else is going on within the black community, it needs to stop! Don't tell me that is not an issue, because it is! Bill Cosby himself recently spoke about it at a university because the problem has gotten so out of hand.

I feel sorry for the family of this young man. His mother shouldn't have to bury her son at such a young age. Maybe if the people holding up signs on his behalf would have invested that time in the man he was becoming, he would still be here today...

Roy Johnson
Roy Johnson

The SECOND this vigil was over they PLANNED this riot. NOT the family members {I would hope} but thousands others.

Mary Hery
Mary Hery

I will admit I wasn't there, however I was listening to my police scanner as the events unfolded. police saying things like "quiktrip needs to be blocked off... patrols from (various areas) are on their way," or "the group by autozone is starting to get amped up... now they've started looting autozone," as well as "protective gear being brought in now, defensive units on the way, try and move traffic out of the high risk areas, see if you can get them through the McDonald's lot," or "officer's unit is surrounded. people are circling his unit.... I'm being hit with rocks.... Try to get him out and away from his vehicle." the police were there to make sure that "scared" crowd was safe from traffic and the wight-wingers who like to protest tragic events. If there was any protective gear originally, it was to keep the people at the vigil and the protest safe. I am still fairly new to St. Louis, but seeing police does not give me any cause for alarm, and really, people with common sense would not have felt like a caged or cornered animal when they saw the police present. I am saddened by the fact that 1. the police here have not been able to redeem their reputation since the 60s, and 2. that people here do not want to move past all this hate and violence and trust a justice system that is actually set up to help them.

Mark Sneed
Mark Sneed

It's obvious trying to call 911 wouldn't have worked , what did u want the police show up in swimming trunks LG

Lakeisha Garner
Lakeisha Garner

its titled correctly the riot police came before the riot..i

Lakeisha Garner
Lakeisha Garner

whered u read or hear that at??....because the riot gear was brought there when people assembled for the candle light visual...and after the visual was a peaceful protest from the spot where he laid dead up to west Florissant where they was met with a baracade of cops with riot gear and canine...scarred people react..the looting came later in the nite...u are misinformed maam...

Christine Kreitler Euker
Christine Kreitler Euker

Sad !!! A life lost is one thing, but destroying property, putting lives in danger and this whole mess is ignorant! These people need to all suffer the consequences for their actions!!

ChrisXtopher Roles
ChrisXtopher Roles

They want the police the release protocol information? You can get that anyway. You don't have to get it from them. Go to school and take one of the classes. They'll inform you what their protocol is. The racial issues in that area may seem bad. But since most of that community is black, you have a higher chance of arresting or stopping someone who is black. That's common sense. The protests aren't going to do anything except hurt the community even more. I wish people could see that. But they're so caught up in trying to seek street Justice.

Charles Miller
Charles Miller

The Styx (/stɪks/; Ancient Greek: Στύξ [stýkʰs], "Hate, Detest") is a river in Greek mythology that formed the boundary between Earth and the Underworld. No one lives in the river between earth and the underwold. I believe sticks is correct.

Steve Horak
Steve Horak

sticks is fine. Many people use it as "sticks" Graham does not control us.

Steve Horak
Steve Horak

keep my ability to afford a good razor out of this. and get a job Greg

Kim German Kolling
Kim German Kolling

sorry graham, didnt mean to step on your toes. maybe my spelling isnt the best but my point was made. i honestly didnt know i needed to spell everything correct to share a story .

Mary Hery
Mary Hery

There is no longer yellow journalism, but rearranging the words to make it sound even more negative than what happened is awful. The police were there to try and keep the peace. The crowd got out of control and began looting, and then then riot gear was brought in to PROTECT the people who were there to PROTECT the people at the vigil. The police didn't just show up with tanks and armor and whatnot and then caused the crowd to steal, which is kind of what this title implies.

Suzanne Lorenz Seibel
Suzanne Lorenz Seibel

Shouldn't it be "Before Looting and THEN Riot Police Take Over" If people could behave, there wouldn't have been a need for Riot Police.

Kim German Kolling
Kim German Kolling

i am from the "sticks" in good ol sullivan missouri then, a few years ago, moved to southern california and witnessed nasty people, and it blew my mind!! after 3 very short lived months there i moved in with family in florissant back in missouri. i happen to go to apply for food stamps in furgeson (sp?) and while driving through that very parking lot i encountered what made my eyes fully open to violenece. i had a very large black woman curse me and call me a "white cracka Pinocchio's bitch" then push me back into my own vehicle. i had no choice but to fight back. thank god the security guard stopped it because im not ready to go to jail for defending myself at all costs!! she thought that 7mph was driving too fast and was obviously having a terrible day. she then procceded to follow me in her car for 2 miles to a gas staion near 270 where i was prepared to act first ask questions later. never EVER in my life have i been so ashamed of my homestate. i thought california was bad and boy i was wrong. i have since then moved back to the "sticks" and thank god my family did move when we did because we lived about two blocks from that QT!!!!!!!

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

stop trying to rationalize / justify what happened last night.

Brittain Cameron
Brittain Cameron

And it's sad that stereotyping is done bc of this bs... They wonder why they make a bad name for others.... Sad.

Greg Kluempers
Greg Kluempers

I think many headlines are written to insight people. In this case i think the Looting started before the Riot Police.

Michael J Keller
Michael J Keller

I would, too. (Take the STL hat off of him.) Don't blame that crap on the rest of us. I'm hoping the rest of the country doesn't equate "MO city / Ferguson" with St. Louis. Ya'all embarrass the shit out of us, not just locally but nationwide! Can't ya have some form of fuckin' couth? Damn! I was going to say that I bet your parents are EXTREMELY proud of ya'all, buy another thought crossed my mind seconds later: I'm willing to place a fat wager on the fact that their parents had as much control and direction over their lives THEN as they do NOW (you know - raising children RIGHT instead of just going around and boinking anything that can't outrun you, and then neglecting the consequences of said boinking, and making the rest of us pay for your nastiness.) Most of you all are making me long for the 'good ole days' - yes, those days when it wasn't uncommon to die from a toothache or an inflamed appendix. I would much rather die from something that is now so easily treatable by a $2 antibiotic than to admit that your generation is just one generation away from mine. Get some couth, Goddamn it! Get some form. Get some manners. And get down on your hands and knees and beg your ancestor's forgiveness for wrecking anything and everything they ever fought for to give you a better life that you wadded up and threw back in their faces this past weekend. And pull up your fucking pants while you're at it. You look like a fucking ridiculously drunk monkey when you walk down the street instead of a proud human being with poise and good form. Now, get on with it!

Bryan Byerly
Bryan Byerly

The words in depth and rft. .should not go together

Stephanie Thorsten
Stephanie Thorsten

All I seen were a bunch of followers....once they're caught, they'll be victims of race. I'll bet not one of them will stand up and hold themselves accountable for their actions. Ignorance is bliss.

Alex Lee
Alex Lee

The Cardinal Way haha.... Sorry couldn't help myself and a peaceful protest that turned violent. Still not a good look. Everyone will associate the protest with the violence, destruction, and looting.

Steve Horak
Steve Horak

I seen him at QT then watched him running down the street with a coffee maker which is now of facebook for sale

Todd Gilliam
Todd Gilliam

Until he got hungry and went to Qt for free samples this guy is in the videos

Alicia Hernandez
Alicia Hernandez

This image is of a peaceful protest that happened before the rioting began, so he not be a fault for anything.

Steve Horak
Steve Horak

I would like to take that STL hat off of him.

Reality
Reality

@Amazed  its always someone like you that's trying to justify some bullshit. Then you write a long essay like you really have a point to prove. SIT BACK.

jenjol2010
jenjol2010

No u sit back take hard hard look at your u ...this is JUSTIFIED....u r not ....kids got a record but wow that's OK because it ok to be a thug

Settheexample
Settheexample

@Reality

Seems to me, had Michael and his friend simply moved to the sidewalk as they were told to do, then everything that has transpired since would Never Have Happened. No further words needed, no struggle, no shooting, no debate, no rioting, no looting, etc. Ignoring the officers' request was an act of defiance, no two ways about it. I AM NOT defending the officer as I don't understand why other options weren't exercised (mainly, a taser??). Now, not knowing the Facts from either side yet, he obviously did run at some point because he was well away from the police car. IF it comes out that for any reason Michael laid his hands on the officer OR tried to shut the door on him, that would be considered assault. IF he assaulted the officer, they would've attempted to arrest him and IF such an attempt caused a struggle and/or he tried to run away, then that is called resisting arrest. I take issue with both sides but will reserve judgment until all the facts are presented because, after all, we are All to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, aren't we?? That applies to Both Michael And the Officer!

On another note, I live in the suburbs of Detroit. I'm sure you've heard the story of Steve Utash. If not, look it up. Did the white suburbanites flock to Detroit to loot and riot over his injustice? Where were your "reverends" then? Why didn't they come and admonish those who took part in the beating, to stop the violence, and to uplift and inspire their community? Why don't they do the same in Chicago, or any other inner city with black on black crime? I would like to think that MLK would have and that is where they are truly needed and can actually make a difference. They want to keep promoting black victimhood and white guilt because that is how they gain their fame and money. Sad, but true. I, for one, will not carry that white guilt because I have never victimized a black person. Or should I, because maybe some distant relative of mine whom I don't even know, might have?

"There is another class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs - partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs." Booker T. Washington - 1911 (103 years ago!)

"Character, not circumstance, makes the person." - B.T.W.

"I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him." - B.T.W.

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