CBS St. Louis, November 26, 2014
National Guard reinforcements helped contain the latest protests in Ferguson, preventing a second night of the chaos that led to arson and looting after a grand jury decided not to indict the police officer who killed Michael Brown.
Demonstrators returned Tuesday to the riot-scarred streets. But with hundreds of additional troops standing watch over neighborhoods and businesses, the protests had far less destructive power than the previous night. However, officers still used some tear gas and pepper spray, and demonstrators set a squad car on fire and broke windows at City Hall.
The St. Louis County Police Department reports 45 people were arrested Tuesday night.
St. Louis County Police tweeted the urine-filled bottles that were thrown at police.
The toll from Monday’s protests–12 commercial buildings burned to the ground, plus eight other blazes and a dozen vehicles torched–prompted Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to send a large contingent of extra National Guard troops.
The governor ordered the initial force of 700 to be increased to 2,200 in hopes that their presence would help local law enforcement keep order in the St. Louis suburb.
Guard units protected the Ferguson Police Department and left crowd control, arrests and use of tear gas to local officers. In one commercial area Wednesday morning, a soldier was stationed at every few storefronts, and some were on rooftops.
Outside police headquarters, one woman was taken into custody after protesters hurled what appeared to be smoke bombs, flares and frozen water bottles at a line of officers. Several other protesters were arrested after defying police instructions to get out of the street or out of the way of police vehicles.
As the crowd dispersed early Wednesday, some threw rocks through the windows of a muffler shop and a used-car dealership near a painted mural that read “Peace for Ferguson.”
Other large demonstrations were held across the country for a second day. Hundreds of Seattle high school students walked out of classes, and several hundred people marched down a Cleveland freeway ramp to block rush-hour traffic.
Attorneys for the Brown family vowed to push for federal charges against Wilson and said the grand jury process was rigged from the start to clear Wilson.
“We said from the very beginning that the decision of this grand jury was going to be the direct reflection of the presentation of the evidence by the prosecutor’s office,” attorney Anthony Gray said. He suggested the office of the county’s top prosecutor, Bob McCulloch, presented some testimony to discredit the process, including from witnesses who did not see the shooting.