Chaos erupted in Ferguson, Missouri, late Sunday night, the second night of heavy protests amid a midnight curfew imposed by Gov. Jay Nixon.
Ferguson has been the site of racially charged protests since the Aug. 9 shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Clashes between protesters and police had calmed as the week progressed, but have ramped up again over the weekend.
On Sunday night, there were numerous reports of police firing tear gas into crowds marching toward a police command center, hours before the curfew was set to be imposed. St. Louis County police said Molotov cocktails were being thrown at police.
“It really is just pure chaos down here,” Brian Schellman, a St. Louis County Police spokesperson, told KSDK News.
Many protesters disputed the police account that Molotov cocktails had been thrown at police.
“That is a lie. It was no fight, it was no shots fired,” protester Lisha Williams told CNN. “The only ones who fired was police. All we did was march to the command center to fall to our knees and say, ‘Don’t shoot.’ And they started shooting.”
The clashes came on the same night The New York Times released the results of a private autopsy report conducted on behalf of Brown’s family. According to the autopsy report, Brown was shot six times in the fatal incident, including twice in his head. The bullets that entered his body did not appear to have been fired from very close range, according to the report.
An autopsy conducted by local officials has still not been completed. Meanwhile, Attorney General Eric Holder said Sunday that the Justice Department would conduct its own autopsy because of what spokesman Brian Fallon said was “due to the extraordinary circumstances involved in this case and at the request of the Brown family.”
Police also clashed with members of the press. One journalist from Argus Radio captured video of a person he identified as a police officer telling him to “get the f — out of here … or you’re getting shelled with this.”
Nixon declared a state of emergency and imposed the midnight curfew in Ferguson on Saturday. One person was shot and seven were arrested Saturday night.
Below are some more images from the scene: