Ferguson quickly erupted into violence, looting, and flames after the Darren Wilson Mike Brown verdict was read on Monday evening. Police officers had to secure an area around a local beauty salon, the first small business set ablaze, before firefighters could safely enter the area and attempt to stop the fire from spreading. Multiple other businesses burned as the fire department was stretched to its limits amid the Michael Brown shooting riots.
A total of 61 individuals were arrested during the first few hours after the Mike Brown shooting verdict was read. St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar told KMOV News that at least 12 businesses were burned as the Ferguson protest turned violent. There has yet to be any comment from the small business owners negatively impacted by the looting and fires set after the Darren Wilson grand jury decided not to indict the police officer. The business owners and their workers could very likely have great difficulty putting food on their tables, making rent, and providing Christmas for their children as a result of the destruction."Protests were probably much worse than the worst night we ever had in August. I don't think we were underprepared. But I'll be honest with you, unless we bring 10,000 policemen in here, I don't think we can prevent folks who really are intent on destroying a community," Chief Jon Belmar said. The chief also stated that during the initial unrest after the Darren Wilson grand jury verdict he instructed his officers to back off and behave as if the protests were similar to those at after a baseball game or festival. But the Ferguson verdict protests soon "spun out of control" and Chief Belmar ordered armored vehicles to roll and lobbed tear gas at the Michael Brown shooting protesters.
Many of the businesses burned to the ground during the Ferguson riots were also targets of looting during the August Michael Brown shooting protests. Some of the businesses burned after the Darren Wilson grand jury Ferguson decision was read, include, Beauty Town, Little Caesars, O'Reilly Auto Parts, JC Wireless, a Conoco gas station, and Auto Zone. Walgreens and Sam's Market were among the businesses heavily looted during the riots.Exactly why the Ferguson police is not being permitted to be in control of their own city, or when the local mayor and law enforcements will once again take the lead in protecting the area, remains unknown. A Tuesday morning press conference about the Ferguson riots involved only St. Louis County police officers and the St. Louis Mayor.
St. Louis County Police arrest 61 people, including 13 teenagers, in connection to the Ferguson riots on Monday evening. The charges levied against the individuals include receiving stolen property, burglar, unlawful assembly, and trespassing. The majority of the individuals arrested were from St. Louis County, according to police records.
What do you think will happen in Ferguson in the coming days?
[Images via: KMOV]