Watch Police in Ferguson Arrest, Tear Gas Journalists [VIDEO]

Ray Downs
Demonstrators protest Antonio French's arrest outside the Ferguson Police Department. French, an alderman in St. Louis city, is a former journalist and has been filming the unrest.
As demonstrations against Ferguson police descended into a fourth night of tear gas, rubber bullets and chaos, heavily militarized police officers briefly detained two national journalists, arrested a St. Louis alderman sharing video of clashes and tear gassed a broadcast news crew.

Police actions against the press seem to be part of the reason Governor Jay Nixon finally decided to cut his Missouri State Fair trip short. The governor says he'll arrive in St. Louis County Thursday morning to manage what's increasingly becoming a volatile, violent and devastating time in St. Louis history.

Read all Riverfront Times coverage of the unrest in Ferguson and the aftermath of Michael Brown's shooting.

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Two Shot in Separate Incidents During Another Tense Night in Ferguson

Danny Wicentowski
SWAT officers gather near the QuikTrip in Ferguson.
After meetings all over the St. Louis area called for peace, dialogue and justice, another drama-filled night took place on West Florissant, near the QuikTrip that burned on Sunday night and not far from where Reverend Al Sharpton appeared with Michael Brown's family.

According to multiple media reports, two shootings took place. First, a drive-by hit a young woman in the head a little past midnight. Later, a St. Louis County police officer shot and critically wounded a man police say pulled a gun on an officer.

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FBI Launches Independent Investigation into Shooting Death of Michael Brown

Lindsay Toler
County Executive Charlie Dooley, with police chief Jon Belmar behind him, tells media he is disappointed in the lootings Sunday night in Ferguson. "I understand the community's frustration and desire for information."
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has joined the probe into the shooting death of unarmed teen Michael Brown in Ferguson last weekend.

Governor Jay Nixon announced Monday, just two days after Brown was shot several times by an unidentified Ferguson police officer, that he asked the U.S. Department of Justice to hold an independent investigation -- a move supported by County Executive Charlie Dooley and St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar.

"It is vital that the facts about this case are gathered in a thorough, transparent and impartial manner, in which the public has complete confidence," Nixon says. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by this tragic event, and I ask St. Louis County residents to exercise patience and respect for their neighbors as federal authorities work to get to the bottom of what happened through this comprehensive, independent review."

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

Jessica Lussenhop
Michael Brown at sixteen with his younger brother Andre.

Barely 24 hours after a Ferguson police officer shot and killed eighteen-year-old Michael Brown, his family wanted people to know two things.

First, that they would like anyone who is sharing photos of Brown's lifeless body laying in the middle of Canfield Drive to take them down. Right now they're everywhere -- on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, hashtagged with Brown's name. Celebrities like Souljaboy are sharing photos of the body.

"We don't want that out there," said Eric Davis, Brown's cousin. "His body was in the street for hours."

The second is that Brown was a shy, nonviolent kid who loved music and wanted to go to college.

"He was excited about life, and he was just so proud when he graduated, got his diploma. Everybody was," said Desuirea Harris, Brown's grandmother.

See also:
- Peaceful Protest for Mike Brown Before Riot Police and Looting Takes Over

- Ferguson Riots: North County Business Owners (Some Armed) Survey the Damage

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St. Louis Man Burglarizes Home, Sodomizes Woman at Knifepoint: Police

Categories: Crime

Alaaden Abbas, 51.
In the early morning hours of July 30, a woman's screams brought St. Louis County police to a west-county street. By that night, police had arrested the man she says broke in and sodomized her in her apartment.

Alaaden Abbas, 51, of the 4500 block of Varrelmann Avenue in the Bevo Mill neighborhood, was charged with first-degree sodomy, first-degree burglary and armed criminal action on July 31. He is held on a $250,000 cash-only bond.

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FBI: Ronald Avers, 68, Hid Needles in Packaged Meat at Belleville Grocery "For the Hell Of It"

USDAgov via Flickr
It's like finding a needle in a haystack, but with meat.
For fourteen months, an elderly Illinois man has been sticking sewing needles into packaged meat at a Belleville, Illinois, Shop 'n Save, according to FBI investigators.

Ronald Avers, 68, was jailed without bond Thursday on seven counts of tampering with meat. Each charge is punishable by up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

FBI investigators busted Avers in the parking lot of the Shop 'n Save, where they found an open package of needles in his Ford F250 pickup truck with a Illinois disabled veteran license plate. Avers first told police he used the needles to sew up tears in his pants when he goes camping, according to court documents.

But when investigators pressed him about the grocery store meat, he admitted to sticking a few needles where they didn't belong.

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Juliette Cleveland-Davis Killed By Stray Bullet in Front of 3 Young Grandchildren (Homicide 71)

Categories: Crime

A 46-year-old grandmother was walking her three young grandchildren in the Wells-Goodfellow neighborhood when a gunfight broke out and sent a fatal stray bullet straight into her chest.

Juliette Cleveland-Davis and her grandchildren -- a seven-year-old girl, a five-year-old boy and a four-year-old boy -- stumbled upon a gun battle at 7:45 p.m. Wednesday night while walking north in the 1900 block of Hodiamont Avenue, according to the St. Louis police. The family was just a third of a mile from Cleveland-Davis' home in the 5900 block of Highland Avenue.

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Sunset Hills Mayor Mark Furrer Accused of Intentionally Striking Cyclist with His Car

Categories: Bikes, Crime

Mayor Mark Furrer's Mercedes parked outside Sunset Hills City Hall. | Tom Carlson

Yesterday, in a post on Facebook that spread rapidly on social media and then in subsequent interviews, a local cyclist accused Sunset Hills mayor Mark Furrer of intentionally running him off the road with his car after screaming, "Get off my fucking roads!"

The cyclist, Randy Murdick of Fenton, accused Furrer of deliberately swerving into him with his red Mercedes convertible, causing Murdick to wreck. In an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Furrer denied the charges and accused Murdick of grabbing on to his car before falling.

"Honestly, everything he's saying is just ridiculous," says Murdick. "He's just lying to cover it up. Nobody in their right mind on a 17-pound bike is going to grab a hold of a 3,000-pound car."

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CNBC's American Greed Airs Episode on St. Louis Conman Priest, Martin Sigillito

Categories: Crime, Media

RFT photo
Martin Sigillito during his time as a priest with the Anglican American Church.
Martin Sigillito, the disgraced St. Louis lawyer and bishop now serving a 40-year prison sentence for orchestrating one of the biggest ponzi schemes to ever befell St. Louis, will be the subject of tonight's episode of CNBC's American Greed, a true-crime series that "examines the dark side of the American Dream."

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"Save Yourselves": Mysterious Sign Pleads for Peace After Shooting Kills Man at Picnic

Categories: Community, Crime

Google Maps
Heman Park.
Even in a place like St. Louis, where gun battles all too often claim the lives of the players involved and the civilians on the sidelines, the shooting that killed a twenty-year-old man at the University City High School alumni picnic was heartbreaking.

What was supposed to be a pleasant summer afternoon reliving high school days with other alumni in Heman Park turned deadly by early evening. More than 1,000 people were still in the park when gunshots rang out, killing Mario Wallace, 20, and injuring a 39-year-old man.

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