After a night of non-violent protests along West Florissant Street yesterday, police officers attempted to clear the parking lots people had been standing and sitting in. The police had been pushing people away from the street and towards the sidewalk before making the decision to push people in the opposite direction — away from the parking lots. Protesters grew angry quickly.
A protester talked to police as they attempted to clear a parking lot:
Some protesters shouted at police, as the police moved through the lot:
Police stopped moving in the McDonald’s parking lot, where protesters had grown frustrated. Some protesters attempted to calm down others who had grown angry with police:
Protesters did not engage police at this time and appeared to regain their composure. After a vehicle that resembled Thomas the Tank Engine rolled through the street and protesters gathered in prayer, an officer could be heard shouting that some unruly protesters had begun throwing bottles. Cops and protesters alike started sprinting in the direction of the QuikTrip convenience store. Police apprehended several men and handcuffed them on the ground.
Police then prepared a response to the protesters’ actions. St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar told media, “I cannot ensure your safety,” and instructed media to move to the command post.
Police officers advanced on the protesters in armored vehicles and on foot in riot gear. Using a loud speaker, the cops asked everyone to disperse immediately. In an early-morning press conference, Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson said 47 people were arrested, mainly for failure to disperse.