Dozens Arrested at Ferguson Protest over Police Shootings
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Hundreds of people demonstrated in the pouring rain in the St. Louis area on Monday, staging a series of rolling protests in the latest show of anger over the police killing of an unarmed black teenager in August.
At least 50 protesters were arrested in civil disobedience acts in Ferguson, the suburb where Michael Brown, 18, was shot dead.
Other groups occupied St. Louis city hall, where they tried to hang a banner, shut down a local Walmart, and chanted outside a fundraiser for a local politician. An additional protest was planned at a St. Louis Rams football game in the evening, Reuters reported.
Police arrested many ministers and national activists who had traveled to Ferguson, most of them outside the police department. One person was arrested at St. Louis city hall.
“This is a historic day,” said Mervyn Marcano, a spokesman for “Ferguson October,” four days of protests culminating on what organizers call “Moral Monday.”
Drenched in a deluge of rain, protesters chanted “Wade in the Water” and other hymns and civil rights anthems as ministers of different faiths kneeled on the wet pavement before a line of state troopers in Ferguson. In a carefully choreographed demonstration the activists slowly broke the police line and forced police to arrest them.
“I’m taking a step forward now. I’m not resisting arrest. I’m going to step forward. I demand to meet with Ferguson authorities. I want to demand justice for Mike Brown,” said Communist Party representative Carl Dix as he breeched the line and got arrested. He was released later in the day. Other activists and ministers prayed and preached to the troopers.
Numerous protests have been held since the Aug. 9 killing of Brown, by white police officer Darren Wilson. Tensions escalated this week after a white officer in St. Louis shot and killed another 18-year-old black man, Vonderrit Myers Jr., last Wednesday. Police say Myers fired at the off-duty officer and that they have recovered a weapon for the scene.