The anniversary of Michael Brown’s death was another explosion of violence and looting. The protestors were quick to criticize the police response to those who gathered along West Florissant Avenue on Sunday night. However, St. Louis County wasn’t taking any chances and issued a state of emergency Monday afternoon, reports CBC News Monday. “The recent acts of violence will not be tolerated in a community that has worked so tirelessly over the last year to rebuild and become stronger,” St. Louis County executive Steve Stenger said in a statement.
A suspect who was identified as Tyrone Harris, 18, was critically wounded when, according to authorities, opened fire on officers in Ferguson on the anniversary of Michael Brown’s death. Later police released a statement indicating that Harris is facing several charges, including first-degree assault on a law enforcement officer and armed criminal action. His bail has been set at $250,000.
CBC also gave a detailed report of the shooting. During the evening, a man police believe was Harris crossed the street and allegedly spotted the plainclothes officers arriving in an unmarked van with distinctive red and blue police lights, St. Louis County police Chief Belmar said. He said the man shot into the hood and windshield. The officers fired back at him from inside the vehicle then when he ran, pursued him on foot. The man fired again on the officers when he became trapped in a fenced-in area, the Belmar said, and all four officers fired back. He was struck and fell. None of the officers was seriously injured and all four have been put on standard administrative leave. They were not wearing body cameras, Belmar said. He also alleges that the semi-automatic 9-mm gun that Harris used to shoot at the officers was stolen last year from Cape Girardeau, Mo.
According to the Daily Mail, the declaring of a state of emergency means that St Louis County will now take over the policing of the protests from the Ferguson Police Department. It puts the St Louis suburb back in the same position it was in in November when Missouri governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency ahead of the grand jury decision not to indict former Ferguson officer Daren Wilson, who shot Brown. St Louis County officers wore bullet proof vests, gloves and had pepper spray and white plastic hand ties on their utility belts.
Earlier on Monday, in a separate incident,a man wearing a red hooded sweatshirt shot two teenagers, ages 17 and 19, in the chest the St. Louis County Police Department said. Both were hospitalized with injuries not considered life-threatening, authorities said. The teens were walking on a sidewalk near where Brown was killed a year ago. In another incident, police said a 17-year-old has been charged with unlawful use of a weapon and one count of resisting arrest after he allegedly fired shots near the protesters late Sunday. He is being held on $100,000 bond.
There was a video posted to social media showing police officers arresting several prominent protesters at the federal courthouse. Johnetta Elzie, one of the protestors who goes by Netta, tweeted just minutes before her arrest, “If I’m arrested today please know I’m not suicidal. I have plenty to live for. I did not resist, I’m just black.” The Ferguson Action Council billed #moralmonday as “a day of civil disobedience and a national call to action.” It posted no itinerary to its website stated CNN.
Not to miss taking advantage of a situation, the looters were out in force and apparently proud of their actions. They even took to social media to brag about the stuff they’d stolen. Even a poor little dog was stolen and the looter who stole the poor dog tweeted about it:
@TylerValleGG JUST STOLE ME THIS DOG MAN #FERGUSONLOOTCREW #FERGUSON — 2-ILLS (@StantwoLs) August 10, 2015.
The same person also tweeted, I STOLE THIS LADYS I PHONE 😂😂😂 AIN’T EVEN THE NEW ONE 😥😥😥 #FERGUSONLOOTCREW #FERGUSON — 2-ILLS (@StantwoLs) August 10, 2015.
Although a year has gone by, nothing much has changed. Michael Brown is still the “gentle giant” who was unarmed and mercilessly gunned down and shot in the back while his hands were raised by the white racist police officer, Darren Wilson – even though none of the evidence supported that scenario. It still remains to be seen how the shooting of Harris will play out. Karen Harris, Harris’ aunt, said her nephew attended the protests because he was friends with Brown. Repeating what other family members who were with Tyrone Harris said, she stated he wasn’t carrying a gun and never fired at police. He was instead “running for his life,” just like everyone else, when the gunshots were fired.
Belmar waved off any notion that the people with the weapons were part of the protest. “They were criminals. They weren’t protesters,” he said. Belmar added, “We cannot continue, we cannot talk about the good things that we have been talking about, if we are prevented from moving forward with this kind of violence,” Belmar said, adding that those resorting to violence are not protesters. “Protesters are people who are out there to effect change,” he said.
Though some groups are pledging civil disobedience Monday in the St. Louis region, Brown’s father urged everyone to mark his son’s death in peace. ‘No drama,’ he said. ‘No stupidity, so we can just have some kind of peace.’