Wed | Nov 21, 2018

Vandalism, looting after vigil for Missouri man

Published:Tuesday | August 12, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Meghan O'Donnell, 29, from St Louis, prays at the spot where Michael Brown was killed Sunday evening in Ferguson, Missouri. - AP


A candlelight vigil for an unarmed black man who was fatally shot by a suburban St Louis police officer was followed by unrest as crowds looted and burned stores, vandalised vehicles, and taunted officers who tried to block access to parts of the city.

Streets in Ferguson upended on Sunday night were relatively quiet early yesterday. Some debris littered the area but crowds had dispersed.

St Louis County police spokesman Brian Schellman said 32 people were arrested for various infractions, including assault, burglary, and theft. Schellman said two officers suffered minor injuries and that there were no reports of civilians hurt.

The tensions erupted after a candlelight vigil yesterday night for 18-year-old Michael Brown, who police said was shot multiple times Saturday in a scuffle with an officer. The investigation into what led to the shooting was ongoing.

Several businesses were looted, including a check-cashing store, a boutique, and a small grocery store. People took items from a sporting goods store and a cell phone retailer and carted rims away from a tire store. Some climbed atop police cars as the officers with riot shields and batons stood stoic nearby, trying to restrict access to the most seriously affected areas.

Deanel Trout, a 14-year resident of Ferguson, said he was convinced the troublemakers were largely from outside Ferguson and that they had used Brown's death and the vigil as an opportunity to steal.