The result of the fatal shooting by police of an unarmed black man named Michael Brown on Saturday in Ferguson, Missouri — a suburb of St. Louis — culminated late last night in looting and riots.
A candlelight vigil was held for Michael Brown (18) yesterday evening. Michael was shot numerous times by an officer after a confrontation between Brown, the officer, and one other person, according to the Wall Street Journal.
After the vigil, all hell broke loose in the predominately black St. Louis suburb. A convenience store was broken into, looted, and burned down. Near the scene of the Michael Brown shooting, a check-cashing store, a small grocery store, a boutique, a sporting goods store, a cellphone retailer, and a tire store were all looted — their front windows and doors smashed in and their contents stolen.
Pictures and news footage from the scene both showed a steady stream of looters leaving the grocery store carrying as many bottles of liquor as they could. People protesting the Michael Brown shooting stood on top of police cars, yelling and taunting police officers who watched in riot gear. More news footage showed the broken window of a news van and reports of vandalized and damaged police cars.
Reports said that police were having a difficult time catching the looters because the crimes were happening in multiple locations in Ferguson and spilling out into other communities. St. Louis Fox affiliate KTVI said Ferguson Mayor James Knowles didn’t know the exact number of arrests made on looters and vandals as a result of the Michael Brown shooting.
Several people tweeted pictures from the scenes:
— Jules Mattsson (@julesmattsson) August 11, 2014
— stevegiegerich (@stevegiegerich) August 11, 2014
Shoe Carnival, car battery thrown thru the window. pic.twitter.com/ss9kM3j9tM
— Charlie Marlow (@CharlieMarlow_) August 11, 2014
As of 11 pm last night, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley said there were no reports of injuries as a result of the riots, but his spokesperson, Pat Washington, said she knew of several instances of police using tear gas on the mobs. There were also reports of gunfire in the area, but authorities couldn’t confirm this.
Mayor James Knowles made a public statement last night regarding the looting and riots after Michael Brown’s shooting:
“Right now, a small number of people are creating a huge mess. Contributing to that unrest that is going on is not going to help. We’re only hurting ourselves, only hurting our community, hurting our neighbors. There’s nothing productive from this.”
Speaking directly about the Michael Brown investigation, Knowles said:
“We understand people want to vent their frustrations. We understand they want to speak out. We’re going to obviously try to urge calm.”
The police say that an officer encountered Michael Brown and another person on a street near an apartment complex in Ferguson. According to a police statement, one of the men pushed the police officer back into his squad car. A struggle broke out, it spilled out into the street, and Michael Brown — who was unarmed — was shot several times and killed.
Michael Brown was scheduled to start school at a local technical college this week. The family of Michael Brown has condemned the looting in Ferguson, saying it does nothing to honor or remember their son.
[Image via Twitter]