The first anniversary of the death of Michael Brown has caused a resurgence in the protests in Ferguson, Missouri. Not long after the riots and looting started to slow down, Ferguson protesters began blocking highways and sparking intermittent bursts of violence in the city. The authorities have been forced to arrest approximately 150 people as a result of the second wave of Ferguson riots.
According to Reuters, protesters were arrested in groups at the start of the week. Police brought in 22 people overnight from the Ferguson protests, and later, another group of 63 who were blocking a highway. Fifty-seven more people were arrested for breaking through barricades that sealed off a federal court in St. Louis, which is near Ferguson.
Most of the Ferguson protests have been peaceful, but there was one reported incident of a drive-by shooting, and a few reported incidents of glass bottles and rocks being hurled at police officers. One 18-year-old Ferguson protester named Tyrone Harris Jr. was shot and severely wounded by police after being accused of opening fire on a police van.
A state of emergency has been declared in Ferguson, and police are doing their best to keep things under control. Smoke has been used to clear out groups of protesters in the Ferguson streets. But despite the peaceful efforts, three officers have been wounded in the riots.
The Associated Press reported that St. Louis County police chief Jon Belmar has been trying to maintain a state of calm between the force and the protesters.
“They’re not going to take the street tonight,” Belmar said defiantly. “That’s not going to happen.”
Not all protesters in Ferguson are violent. One group of protesters led by Charles Mayo is seeking to ease the unrest between the angry citizens and the Ferguson police force.
“I think they took command out of the hands of the new chief of Ferguson pretty fast,” said Mayo. “They put the response in Belmar’s hands. Me personally, I think Belmar did a great job.”
With so many Ferguson protesters being arrested in such large numbers, it may be difficult to discern who is actually guilty of what. One woman reportedly repeated “What did I do? What did I do?” as police took her away in handcuffs.
Many expected Ferguson to remain calm as time went on. But a year after the death of Michael Brown, many citizens are still outraged at the fact that Officer Darren Wilson was cleared of any wrongdoing after shooting the teenager dead.
Those who knew Michael Brown claim he was a “gentle giant.”
Do you think the Ferguson protests should stop? Or do they have reason to be angry?
Read more about the young man shot by Ferguson police.
[Image credit: Scott Olson / Getty Images]