Protests reignite in Ferguson
Police on Wednesday arrested a group of protesters threatening to shut down a portion of Interstate 70 near Ferguson, Missouri.
Some demonstrators threw rocks at police during the emotionally charged protest, aimed at convincing Gov. Jay Nixon to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate last month’s shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. CNN witnessed about two dozen people being taken into custody.
A grand jury is presently hearing the Brown case and will determine whether Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson will face any charges.
Local authorities advised protesters not to disrupt interstate traffic and stopped protesters from blocking the highway.
Demonstrators who weren’t detained said they were heading to downtown Ferguson to protest there.
“Attempting to block an interstate highway is unsafe and unacceptable. … People trying to shut down I-70 would not only create a very serious hazard for themselves, but also for motorists simply trying to get home from school or work,” Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson said before the protest, according to CNN affiliate KMOV.
The protest comes amid a busy week in the Brown case.
On Tuesday night, the Ferguson City Council met for the first time since the shooting, and on the agenda was the creation of a citizen review board to work with the police department.
The meeting quickly turned rowdy, though, with some in attendance chanting Brown’s name and shouting at council members, according to various media reports.
“You have the Michael Brown movement in your face because of your ongoing neglect,” one woman told the Council.
Added another, “We’re not going to let you go back to business as usual.”
The ordinance to create the citizen review board was read Tuesday, but it requires a second reading before the Council can vote on it, Mayor James Knowles told the crowd, according to CNN affiliate KPLR.
Also Tuesday, Circuit Court Judge Ellen Levy Siwak denied a request from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Brown’s juvenile records be released, the paper reported. The paper sought the release of the records because there is heavy public interest in Brown’s history.
Though the records weren’t released, a juvenile court lawyer said Brown had no serious felony convictions as a juvenile, and he was facing no charges at the time of his death.
Earlier Tuesday, Brown’s family members appeared alongside members of the NAACP and the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, demanding that Wilson be arrested for Brown’s death.
The news conference came after the Post-Dispatch reported that two witnesses — who were working at the Canfield Green apartment complex near where Brown was killed — said Wilson chased Brown on foot, fired at him as he fled and fatally shot him as he attempted to surrender with his hands up.
The witnesses’ accounts were important, NAN’s the Rev. Carlton Lee said, because the witnesses had no connection to Brown, Ferguson or Canfield Green and offer the perspectives of two outsiders.
“Darren Wilson should be arrested, booked, fingerprinted and photographed,” Brown family attorney Anthony Gray said during the Tuesday news conference.
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