Missouri Declares State of Emergency in Ferguson
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Missouri’s Governor Jay Nixon on Saturday declared a state of emergency in Ferguson following a week-long series of racially charged protests and looting over the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer.
The streets must be emptied starting at midnight for a curfew that will run until 5 am until further notice, according to Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, named by the governor to oversee security in the suburban St. Louis community that has been roiled by the Aug. 9 shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
“The eyes of the world are watching. This is the test of whether a community, this community, any community, can break the cycle of fear, distrust and violence, and replace them with peace, strength and, ultimately, justice,” Nixon said in remarks made at a church near Ferguson.
Some in the crowd gathered at the church reacted angrily to the news and one interrupted the governor’s remarks, shouting that the police officer who killed Brown must be charged with murder to bring peace to the community, AFP reported.
The unrest erupted after Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, 28, shot and killed Brown shortly after noon last Saturday as Brown and a friend walked down a street that runs through an apartment complex where Brown’s grandmother lives.
Tensions have been high all week but escalated on Friday evening as protesters again swarmed through a residential and retail district that has become a virtual war zone, pitting mostly black protesters against mostly white police forces.
On Saturday, people marching through city streets held signs that read “black lives matter”, and “Don’t shoot”.
For days, Brown’s family and supporters have demanded the name of the officer, which police repeatedly refused to release. That changed on Friday when Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson identified Wilson as the officer involved.