The unrest in Ferguson continued Sunday night after police decked in riot gear fired tear gas upon crowds protesting for the arrest of officer Darren Wilson.
Wilson, a 6-year-veteran on the force, fatally shot unarmed teenager Michael Brown six times, including twice in his head, last week.
In a police press conference, held shortly after curfew began, Capt. Ron Johnson defended the actions of officers, saying they “did a fine job” dispersing the crowd after facing makeshift barricades, Molotov cocktails, looting, and gunfire from protestors.
“Based on the conditions, I had no alternative but to elevate the level of our response. We had to act to protect lives and property.”
Johnson, who is in command in Ferguson, also confirmed that two to three people were injured in last night’s clashes, one of whom was shot. Seven to eight people were arrested for “failing to disperse.” No officers, he said, were injured.
Defending the decision to push protestors back before curfew began, Johnson released this timeline of events, compiled by USA Today:
- At 8:25 p.m. local time, a person was shot on West Florissant, the street where protesting has been centered.
- At 8:26 p.m. shots were fired at a nearby location.
- At 8:27 p.m. police learned that a “subject was down.”
- At 8:28 p.m. police received a report of eight people with guns and tactical teams responded.
- By 8:56 p.m. hundreds of protests marched toward the shopping center where police have set up their command post. In response, police officers lobbed tear gas at the group and asked other local police departments for assistance.
- At 9:20 p.m. Johnson said McDonald’s employees were forced to lock themselves in a storage room after being “overrun” by protesters.
Residents and reporters on the scene, however, paint a different picture.
Riot cop to me just a few minutes ago: “Get back! Or next time you’re gonna be the one maced.”
— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) August 18, 2014
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) August 18, 2014
In this photograph, a woman gets treatment after being hit with tear gas on W. Florissant.
Protestors broke the window of the local McDonald’s to take refuge and find milk to stop the burning of their eyes.
Ferguson-Florissant schools were closed in the wake of the week-long clashes.
We’ll keep you updated with the latest from Ferguson.