Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said that he believed the National Guard, along with President Barack Obama’s constant pleas to calm down, might finally defuse the situation in Ferguson, which has become center for racial tensions after the killing of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer on Aug. 9.
“Let’s seek to heal, rather than to wound each other,” Obama said in his latest remarks on the crisis Monday.
“And for much of the day, it appeared as though tensions were cooling. Police had cordoned off parts of the downtown area and were allowing people to peacefully protest, and demonstrators marched up and down the streets with an air of positivity. But the peaceful demonstrators, who have lamented their violent counterparts keeping the town in the national spotlight, were met by a younger, rowdier group at about midnight. A human chain of peaceful demonstrators—including pastors and community leaders—briefly kept the more raucous protesters at bay, with the help of a line of police in tactical gear,” reports Time.
“But as the protesters threw glass bottles at police, the police responded with tear gas. Numerous arrests were made, though it was impossible to immediately determine how many. And the night once again devolved into the dispiriting spectacle of protesters throwing bottles, police pointing their guns or firing tear gas, protesters scrambling away, and the cycle repeating itself. Even before the latest clashes broke out, the local school district announced that schools would be closed the rest of the week.”
At least one ptotester was taken into custody. Witnesses claim that the suspect was arrested by about a dozen police officers.
“While I understand the passions and the anger that arise over the death of Michael Brown, giving in to that anger by looting or carrying guns, and even attacking the police, only serves to raise tensions and stir chaos,” Obama told a news conference. “It undermines, rather than advancing, justice.”
The president met Holder on Monday to discuss the unrest. Holder said more than 40 FBI agents were canvassing Ferguson neighborhoods in an investigation that included federal and local officials.
“Moreover, at my direction, an additional medical examination is being performed on the body of Michael Brown,” Holder said. Results of official autopsies by federal authorities and the county are pending.
The news comes a day after a medical examier told the family of the killed boy that the teen was shot at leasr six times.
Dr. Michael Baden, a former New York City chief medical examiner, unveiled that one of the bullets shot by the policeman at the teen entered the top of Brown’s skull, suggesting that his head was bent forward when he suffered a fatal injury.
The examiner went on, adding it was likely the last of bullets to hit the boy, 18, whose death has triggered a week of rancorous protests in Ferguson, in suburban St. Louis.