The first anniversary of the Michael Brown shooting brought with it a string of protests and arrests. However the violence that sparked outrage over the weekend was not repeated.
No bullets were fired, no theft or vandalism was committed and peace was maintained. Last summer was a different story, as due to the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer, the St. Louis suburb was subjected to protests that lasted months along with incidents of violence.
On Monday night things were peaceful as by 1 am both the protestors and the police headed home.
This was a good change as compared to last Sunday, when the protest got violent thus resulting in the shooting of an 18-year-old. This increased the tension and got the protest leaders worried, as the emotions of the public were getting out of control. A state of emergency was declared by the St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger and it gave the county Police Chief Jon Belmar the authority to control the police emergency management in Ferguson.
Protestors were chanting against the shooting and holding up signs on Monday evening. As some of the protestors made their way into the traffic lane, they were driven out of the street by officers. Belmar was determined not to let the protest get out of hand this time, as he told The Associated Press: “They’re not going to take the street tonight.”
On Sunday night, hundreds got out on the street. Gunshots were heard near the stores and some got looted. This created a state of panic and protestors and reporters started running for cover. According to Belmar, there were six shooters, which included the 18-year-old Tyrone Harris Jr.
As the firing started, Harris saw four officers in plainclothes in a van with red and blue police lights and shot at them straight into the windshield. The officers fired back and then further chased him on foot. Harris fired on them again and all four of them open fired on him. Harris survived but was in critical condition as he went through a surgery on Monday. He was charged with 10 felonies.
Harris’ father, Tyrone Harris Sr. claimed this incident to be untrue. The officers were not wearing body cameras so it’s their word against Harris’. According to him, his son got caught in the crossfire and was simply running for his life and he was unarmed.
However, some records do reveal that in November, Harris was charged with the theft of a motor vehicle and a gun. The hearing for this case is set for 31st August.