Eight protesters were arrested last night, as demonstrations began anew in Ferguson, Missouri. The demonstrations marked two months from the day that Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old, was killed by police officer Darren Wilson.
The arrests occurred during Thursday night’s demonstrations, which included a candlelight vigil for Brown but later morphed into a protest of the latest police shooting. On Wednesday night, an off-duty police officer killed a 18-year-old man during a gun fight after pursuing him for what officials said was suspicious behavior. Officials said the man shot at an officer “at least three times” before the officer fired back 17 times. The officer remained unharmed; it’s unclear how many times the man was struck.
Protesters began the evening protesting outside the local police headquarters, but then moved to the site of Wednesday’s shooting, which has threatened the already fragile relations between the community and police and will likely fuel the weekend’s protests.
Five were arrested for unlawful assembly, two for property damage, and one for marijuana possession; meanwhile, officials reported that two police vehicles were damaged, an officer was hit in the arm with a brick, and one shop sustained damages.
This weekend’s protests are expected to draw thousands of locals and out-of-towners who have been galvanized as more controversial incidents arise involving police confrontations with black men. Police scanners described the Thursday crowd as comprised of “15-year-olds to 80-year-olds, all races, all genders.”
Protesters in Ferguson this time around have been allowed to stay on sidewalks and stand in one place. After weeks demonstrations in which protesters were forced to "keep moving" or face arrest, a judge ruled this week that Ferguson’s "five-second rule" was unconstitutional and violated the protesters’ First Amendment rights. She issued an injunction on Wednesday, just days before protests began.