Ferguson, Missouri, was shaken again Thursday night after protesters responded angrily to Police Chief Thomas Jackson joining the crowd calling for his resignation, immediately following his public apology to the family of Michael Brown.
Unrest erupted among the protesters as Jackson entered the crowd peacefully after his statement outside of the police headquarters, NBC News reported on Friday. Many of the demonstrators demanded Jackson resign, and a brawl broke out nearby. In a scene reminiscent of the violent landscape in the wake of Brown’s death, dozens of police in riot gear appeared before the crowd.
Officers arrested several people, according to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
An unarmed black 18-year-old, Brown was fatally shot by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9., resulting in protests and violence that seized the Missouri city for weeks. The situation was exacerbated by an excessive police response and a lack of transparency from law enforcement authorities and the county prosecutor.
Moments before the scuffle, Jackson apologized to Brown’s family, almost two months after the teen’s death. He acknowledged that Brown’s body was left in the street for hours as investigators worked, and admitted that officers had cracked down on peaceful protesters in the weeks following the incident.
After weeks of calm, violence broke out for the first time Tuesday following the burning of a memorial honoring Brown earlier that day. The memorial was one of two physical remembrances at the scene of his death, this one erected around a telephone pole, the other in the center of the road where Wilson last month allegedly fired multiple shots at Brown.
A grand jury empaneled by the St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch has until Jan. 7 to determine whether or not Wilson should be indicted on criminal charges. Wilson, who has been on paid administrative leave since the incident in the St. Louis suburb, appeared in public for the first time in more than a month last week to testify before the grand jury.