Sat | Dec 3, 2016

Nearly 20 arrested in Ferguson protest

Published:Tuesday | October 14, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Protesters carry crosses with the names of black men who have been killed during a march to the Ferguson, Missouri, police station yesterday. Activists planned a day of civil disobedience to protest the shooting of Michael Brown in August and a second police shooting in St Louis last week. AP

FERGUSON, Missouri (AP): Pounding rain and tornado watches didn't deter hundreds of protesters who stayed outside Ferguson police headquarters for more than four hours yesterday, the same amount of time that 18-year-old Michael Brown's body was left in the street after he was fatally shot by police.

Nearly 20 people were arrested during the rally, with some protesters using a bullhorn to read the names of people killed by police nationwide. The rally was led by clergy members during a third straight day of rallies in the St Louis suburb where Brown was unarmed when he was fatally shot on August 9.

Protests have been common since Brown, who was black, was killed by a white police officer. But tensions escalated last week when a white police officer in nearby St Louis shot and killed 18-year-old Vonderrit Myers Jr, who police say shot at officers before he was killed.

Showing solidarity

"My faith compels me to be here," said Bishop Wayne Smith of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri. "I want to show solidarity and call attention to the structural racism of St Louis."

Protesters were met by about 40 officers in riot gear. Several clergy members approached individual Ferguson officers and asked them to "repent" for Brown's killing and other acts of violence. Some officers engaged the protesters, while others ignored the efforts.

"My heart feels that this has been going on too long," Ferguson officer Ray Nabzdyk told the clergy. "We all stand in fault because we didn't address this."

St Louis County Police spokesman Shawn McGuire said about 13 people were arrested at police headquarters on charges of peace disturbance. Six others were later arrested for failing to disperse after blocking a street.