Some 350-odd protesters flooded the streets of Ferguson, Mo. Wednesday evening, demanding justice for the death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown and the name of the police officer who killed him. They chanted, "Hands up, don't shoot" as they marched through the predominantly black city.
Late Wednesday and in the early morning hours of Thursday, Ferguson police—clad in armor and armed with rifles—fired tear gas, stun grenades, smoke bombs, and rubber bullets on these protesters and news teams on the scene. At least 10 people were arrested by Ferguson police last night, including journalists and an alderman; according to the New York Times, Ferguson police have arrested more than 50 people since protests started Sunday.
Protesters have been reported throwing molotov cocktails and rocks at police—one officer told KSDK that a protester hurled a brick at him.
Update, 9:30 a.m.: French has been released.
"I've had enough of being pushed around because of the color of my skin. I'm sick of this police brutality," one protester, Terrell, 18, told Reuters. "I'm going to keep coming back here night after night until we get justice."
Two journalists, the Washington Post's Wesley Lowery and the Huffington Post's Ryan J. Reilly, documented in detail their arrests by police last night, who apparently hauled them away after failing to leave a McDonald's they were working out of with other journalists fast enough.
For today's edition of the Post, Lowery filed a chilling account of his and Reilly's arrest, including being warned by officers that if they tried to call police, "no one would answer:"
Multiple officers grabbed me. I tried to turn my back to them to assist them in arresting me. I dropped the things from my hands.
"My hands are behind my back," I said. "I'm not resisting. I'm not resisting." At which point one officer said: "You're resisting. Stop resisting."
That was when I was most afraid — more afraid than of the tear gas and rubber bullets.
Officers later told Lowery that he and Reilly were detained for "trespassing at McDonald's."
According to Reuters, two-thirds of Ferguson's 21,000 population is black and only three officers in the city's 53-person police force are black.
"Unfortunately, an undertow (of racial unrest) has bubbled to the surface," Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said at a press conference Wednesday. "Race relations is the top priority right now."
The St. Louis County Police Department appears outright resistant to releasing further details of Brown's killing, citing the officer's safety as their reasoning. They've reneged on previous plans to release the officer's name. Hacker group Anonymous has already unearthed the police dispatch calls from the time of Brown's death; they have also vowed to dox the officer.
"I want truth and I want justice," Jackson said at the press conference. "I want to be part of the solution. I want us all to be part of the solution."
[Image via AP]