The police captain leading the efforts to control the racially-charged protests in Ferguson, Missouri, said the city was calmer Tuesday night but various threats and bottles thrown at officers led to the arrests of 47 individuals.
Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson told the media early Tuesday morning that some protesters even were throwing urine at them.
“The agitators, the criminals embedded themselves and hid behind media. They began throwing bottles. They threw urine on officers. And that’s what caused officers to to take action and begin to make arrests,” he said. “There were glass bottles … and also plastic bottles with water and ice.”
In an improvement over previous nights, there were no Molotov cocktails thrown at police officers, Johnson said. In turn, he noted the police didn’t deploy any tear gas or smoke bombs against the protesters.
“We did deploy very limited pepper spray,” he added.
Johnson described the overall situation as significantly better over the previous night. The relatively small city of Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb, has been rocked by protests since an African-American teen, Michael Brown, was killed during an Aug. 9 encounter with police.
“Twenty-four hours ago, I told you how organised and increasingly violent instigators were inserting themselves into law-abiding protesters,” he said. “Tonight we saw a different dynamic. Protest crowds were a bit smaller and they were out earlier. We had to respond to fewer incidents than the night before.”
Johnson credited community “elders” working to calm down younger protesters for the improvement.
“I believe that there was a turning made. I think that turning point was made by the clergy, the activists, the volunteers, and the men and women of law enforcement who partnered together to make a difference,” he said.
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