Timeline of standoff between police and protesters in Ferguson

3 years 3 months 4 weeks ago Sunday, August 17 2014 Aug 17, 2014 Sunday, August 17, 2014 11:04:00 AM CDT August 17, 2014 in News
By: Drew Whiteman, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

FERGUSON - A shooting and multiple arrests marked an overnight protest in Ferguson, as a state-issued curfew drew nearer close to the scene of the Michael Brown shooting.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson was there urging protesters to return home peacefully before the curfew went into effect, but several hundred defiant protesters stayed out on a rainy night in the St. Louis suburb, vocal about justice in regard to the Aug. 9 shooting.

Earlier Saturday, Gov. Jay Nixon issued a curfew for Ferguson that would be in effect from midnight to 5 a.m. Johnson said the response from law enforcement Saturday night at the start of the curfew aimed to focus on communication, rather than force.

Below is a chronological recap of the events in Ferguson after midnight into early Sunday morning, augmented and visualized by first-hand accounts from across social media:

Protesters chanted peacefully in the hour just before midnight, "No justice, no curfew." However, several peacemakers pleaded with the crowd to head inside.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol set up and surrounded a small area for media to cover the events. Capt. Johnson was addressing protesters individually to head home and help the community have a safe night.

As rain began to fall, many protesters dispersed and a peaceful night seemed promising. 

Despite the storm and a deluge of tweets calling for peace in Ferguson, around 45 minutes after the curfew took effect, reports indicated a mob was forming several hundred feet from the dubbed "media pen," chanting loudly and yelling verbal insults at police. Within minutes, there were reports of armed protesters.

Some demonstrators parked their cars on the road between protesters and police, blocking a direct path.

Police began donning riot gear, shields, and preparing their weapons. They began announcing over a loudspeaker for the crowd to disperse.

Protesters had their own megaphones and responded to police, chanting for justice.

Many reported the Ferguson police officers joining state troopers and forming ranks to organize a move in response to the advancing group of protesters still several hundred feet away. 

Then, police fired smoke shells into the crowd. At a later news conference, Johnson confirmed there had been an armed suspect in the street.

Preliminary reports indicated smoke, but there was some confusion when reporters and protesters began reporting burning in their eyes and nausea.

Police later confirmed the use of tear gas. Several pictures of the canisters surfaced. 

There were several reports of a small fire, some indicating a protester may have thrown a Molotov cocktail at a nearby business.

Shortly after, the tension between police and protesters peaked. Reports of gunfire flooded social media.

Police moved in and fired more tear gas to disperse the crowd. Johnson later confirmed police were moving in response to a report of a shooting victim.

Johnson confirmed the shooting was between two civilians, and that the victim was taken to the hospital in critical condition. He also said shots were fired at a police vehicle.

After police attempted to secure the area, reports of arrests and apparent gunfire came with a sharp decline in protester presence. 

Officials announced the news conference after police were able to achieve a relative calm. 

Johnson said police made seven arrests and the one gunshot victim was taken to the hospital in critical condition and "may lose his life."

The news conference wrapped up with Johnson concluding, "Officers will patrol the area all night ... to keep citizens and businesses safe and healthy."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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