In the second night of clashes in Missouri, Ferguson police militarized, bringing 200-300 officers out on Monday night to dissuade and disperse protestors gathering in remembrance of Michael Brown, the unarmed teenager killed by a Ferguson police officer on Saturday.
Officers in riot gear fired tear gas at a crowd of people on Monday night near the intersection of West Florissant and Canfield.
Reporters on the ground in Ferguson took to Twitter to describe the scene:
Omg, tear gas in my eyes, nose.. It burns. Ugh! — Christina Coleman (@ChristinaKSDK) August 12, 2014
Residents, blocked off from their homes by a wall of police holding rifles, were told to go home. Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery, who is also on the ground in Ferguson, described the exchange between police and residents in the area:
“Can we go home? We just want to go home!” “Leave or you will be arrested.” “We just want to go home” — Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) August 12, 2014
Witnesses in the neighborhood reported hearing multiple gunshots throughout the night. Many reporters, residents, and members of the hacktivist group Anonymous took to Twitter to share visuals of the force used by police, including this photograph of a young man who was struck with a rubber bullet fired into the reportedly peaceful crowd:
Others shared photographs of rifle-wielding officers and police dogs confronting unarmed men in Ferguson:
Throughout the night, witnesses maintained that the crowds remained peaceful:
As cops looked down side street where I was standing, residents lifted hands and shouted “don’t shoot. Don’t murder us too.” #Ferguson
— Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) August 12, 2014
Meanwhile, video of a Ferguson police officer calling a crowd of protestors animals was made public by CNN on Monday. In the video, you can hear the police officer yell at the protestors “Bring it, all you fucking animals! Bring it!”
When asked about the officer in question by CNN, Ferguson Mayor James Knowles said the officers were doing their best.
Reports of brutality, however, continue to be shared by local reporters and Ferguson residents. A pregnant protestor claimed she was maced, held at gunpoint, and thrown to the ground during protests this week.
Cellphone video allegedly captured the incident Sunday night at a parking lot at W. Florissant and Lucas and Hunt. It shows police officers in riot gear rushing a vehicle and pulling the people inside to the ground.
“They was just like if y’all don’t shut up, we’re gonna mace y’all and take y’all to jail,” said Mikiesha Wickerson, who’s six months pregnant.
Wickerson claims her two cousins and their friend in the car were yelling at police with the doors to the car closed and not moving when the officers rushed the vehicle. She said no one inside the car had weapons.
Everyone in the car was arrested and taken to jail, said Wickerson.
“I was like ‘can I please get some air’ because I started contracting and I was sweating and had the mace running through my eyes,” Wickerson said.
She was taken to a hospital after the incident and checked out, and said she was told the baby should be fine.
On Monday, the FBI announced they would take over the investigation into Michael Brown’s shooting death. The police officer responsible for killing Brown will be identified on Tuesday.