Vandalism, looting after vigil for Missouri man

Comment: Off

Meghan O’Donnell, 29, from St. Louis, prays at the spot where Michael Brown was killed Sunday evening, Aug. 10, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A few thousand people have crammed the street where a black man was shot multiple times by a suburban St. Louis police officer. The candlelight vigil Sunday night was for 18-year-old Michael Brown, who died a day earlier. Police say he was unarmed. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, J.B. Forbes) EDWARDSVILLE INTELLIGENCER OUT; THE ALTON TELEGRAPH OUT

Meghan O’Donnell, 29, from St. Louis, prays at the spot where Michael Brown was killed Sunday evening, Aug. 10, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A few thousand people have crammed the street where a black man was shot multiple times by a suburban St. Louis police officer. The candlelight vigil Sunday night was for 18-year-old Michael Brown, who died a day earlier. Police say he was unarmed. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, J.B. Forbes) EDWARDSVILLE INTELLIGENCER OUT; THE ALTON TELEGRAPH OUT

A large crowd gathers at the candlelight vigil, Sunday evening, Aug. 10, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A few thousand people have crammed the street where a black man was shot multiple times by a suburban St. Louis police officer. The candlelight vigil Sunday night was for 18-year-old Michael Brown, who died a day earlier. Police say he was unarmed. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, J.B. Forbes) EDWARDSVILLE INTELLIGENCER OUT; THE ALTON TELEGRAPH OUT

Protesters bang on the side of a police car Sunday evening, Aug. 10, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A few thousand people have crammed the street where a black man was shot multiple times by a suburban St. Louis police officer. The candlelight vigil Sunday night was for 18-year-old Michael Brown, who died a day earlier. Police say he was unarmed. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, J.B. Forbes) EDWARDSVILLE INTELLIGENCER OUT; THE ALTON TELEGRAPH OUT

People are seen in a store Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A few thousand people crammed a suburban St. Louis street Sunday night at a vigil for unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown shot and killed by a police officer, while afterward several car windows were smashed and stores were looted as people carried away armloads of goods as witnessed by an an Associated Press reporter. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, David Carson)

Police officers patrol the area Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A few thousand people crammed a suburban St. Louis street Sunday night at a vigil for unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown shot and killed by a police officer, while afterward several car windows were smashed and stores were looted as people carried away armloads of goods as witnessed by an an Associated Press reporter. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Robert Cohen)

Buy AP Photo Reprints

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — A day of anger over a fatal police shooting of an unarmed black man in suburban St. Louis turned to mayhem as people looted businesses, vandalized vehicles and confronted police who sought to block off access to several areas of the city.

The tensions erupted after a candlelight vigil Sunday night for 18-year-old Michael Brown, who police said was shot multiple times the previous afternoon after a scuffle involving the officer, Brown and another person in Ferguson, a predominantly black suburb of the city.

Afterward, a convenience store was looted. Several other stores along a main road near the shooting scene were broken into, including a check-cashing store, a boutique and a small grocery store. People also took items from a sporting goods store and a cellphone retailer, and carted rims away from a tire store.

TV footage showed streams of people walking out of a liquor store carrying bottles of alcohol, and in some cases protesters were standing atop police cars or taunting officers who stood stoic, often in riot gear.

Other witnesses reported seeing people vandalize police cars and kick in windows. Television footage showed windows busted out of a TV station van.

Police were having a hard time catching looters because crimes were happening at several locations in Ferguson and spilling into neighboring communities, Mayor James Knowles told KTVI-TV. It wasn’t immediately clear how many arrests were made. Authorities set up some blockades to try to keep people from the most looted areas.

While St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley said that there were no reports of injuries as of about 11 p.m., there also were scattered reports of assaults into the early morning. Pat Washington, a spokeswoman for Dooley, there was one instance she knew of in which tear gas was used. There were scattered media reports of gunfire but authorities did not immediately confirm any.

“Right now, the small group of people are creating a huge mess,” Knowles told KTVI-TV. “Contributing to the unrest that is going on is not going to help. … We’re only hurting ourselves, only hurting our community, hurting our neighbors. There’s nothing productive from this.”

As the investigation of Brown’s death progresses, “we understand people want to vent their frustrations. We understand they want to speak out,” Knowles added. “We’re going to obviously try to urge calm.”

Earlier in the day, a few hundred protesters had gathered outside Ferguson Police headquarters. At one point, many of them marched into an adjacent police building, some chanting “Don’t shoot me” while holding their hands in the air. Officers stood at the top of a staircase, but didn’t use force; the crowd eventually left.

County Police Chief Jon Belmar said the shooting occurred after an officer encountered two people — one of whom was Brown — on the street near an apartment complex in Ferguson.

Belmar said one of the men pushed the officer back into his squad car and a struggle began. Belmar said at least one shot was fired from the officer’s gun inside the police car. Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said authorities were still sorting out what happened inside the police car. It was not clear if Brown was the man who struggled with

Comments

comments

About the Author