Huffpost Politics
Ryan J. Reilly Headshot

Mixed Emotions In Ferguson As Midnight Curfew Approaches

Posted: Updated:

FERGUSON, Mo. -- Community leaders expressed both worry and optimism on Saturday about the midnight curfew imposed by Gov. Jay Nixon (D) to stop the looting that has marred protests over the death of an unarmed teen in this St. Louis suburb.

In the early hours of Saturday morning, several stores had their windows smashed and products looted after protests surrounding the Aug. 9 death of 18-year-old Michael Brown at the hands of a Ferguson police officer. Nixon announced the curfew on Saturday in response.

Renita Lamkin, a pastor who was shot by a rubber bullet while trying to mediate between protesters and police on Wednesday, said she was hoping for the best for Saturday night and thought the midnight curfew was a good idea.

“I think the curfew is fair, because really the people who are there on the real peace mission and for the cause … they don’t want the distraction,” she said. “They don’t want the headlines to say the police had to run us out. You’ve got to respect the neighborhood.”

“The only difference last night was that people were there on a different mission, as far as the people who were the peacekeepers and were there for the protest and there to grieve communally and to unite communally,” Lamkin said.

Malik Shabazz, the president of Black Lawyers for Justice, wanted the curfew to be delayed. He said earlier Saturday that members of his group, the New Black Panther Party, were helping control the protests, and Shabazz was coordinating directly on Saturday night with Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, the newly appointed officer in charge of keeping the peace in Ferguson, to advise him on the planned movements of the crowd.

“I’m worried about the 12 midnight. The 12 midnight is very tight, and if he won’t extend it, then I don’t know if I can get it done, but I’ll do my best,” Shabazz said of trying to clear the streets before the curfew. “I could get it done by 2 a.m., by I can’t get it done by 12 a.m.”

Johnathan McFarlan was in Ferguson for the first time on Saturday night to take part in the demonstrations. He had brought his 6-month-old son, Abraham, and said he planned to respect the curfew. "I think people need to go home," he said. "At the same time, how do you put restrictions on the right to assemble?"

Maurice Millere had been pulling protesters away from the police line on Saturday morning. "I don't think it's a good idea," he said of the curfew on Saturday night, as he marched southbound along the main street where protests and looting have taken place during the week. "I don't think the police should be here."

Most officers out on Saturday night were from the St. Louis Police Department. They wore plain uniforms, though some had helmets and batons. Near a liquor store where some looting had taken place the night before, a group of young men sat on top of their cars, sipping on apple-flavored malt beverages and occasionally honking their horns.

Johnson was in the crowd talking to residents, as other people took photos with the St. Louis police officers. Authorities had also set up a designated area for the media to observe, a first since the protests began.

The Friday night and Saturday morning looting that led to the curfew marked a regression from the previous night of demonstrations, when protests remained peaceful and new leadership compelled authorities to step back from the militaristic stance they had taken starting Wednesday afternoon.

Under the direction of Johnson, who took over after clashes between protesters and police, officers held back on Friday night, even as members of the crowd broke into several stores. Other protestors tried to stop them, but stores further north of the police line got hit the hardest.

Lamkin was optimistic about how things would go on Saturday.

“I think tonight will be fine,” Lamkin said. She paused for a moment, thinking it over. “I think tonight will be fine.”

live blog

Oldest Newest

USA Today's Yamiche Alcindor provides an intimate look at how Michael Brown's parents have been dealing with the loss of their son:

Phones constantly ring with reporters asking for interviews or family members offering support. Last week, as demands reached a tipping point, both parents moved into hotels to shield themselves.

In the days leading up to the funeral, Brown's mother continued to cry and spoke in whispers as she tried to explain her feelings.

"They say tomorrow is going to be the hardest day, but I think today was — just seeing my baby laying there, cold," Lesley McSpadden, 34, told USA TODAY. "It did something to my heart. It's too much. It's too much."

Read the rest at USA Today.

Share this: tumblr

New audio has surfaced that allegedly captures the moment when Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot dead by Darren Wilson, a white police officer, on Aug. 9.

CNN aired the unverified recording on Monday night. Six shots can be heard, followed by a pause, then several more. A private autopsy performed on Aug. 17 at the request of Brown's family found that the 18-year-old was shot 6 times, including twice in the head.

Read the rest here.

Share this: tumblr
Share this: tumblr
Share this: tumblr
Share this: tumblr

USA Today reporter, Yamiche Alcindor shares photo of program which includes tributes to Michael Brown from his mother and father

Share this: tumblr
Share this: tumblr
Share this: tumblr
08/25/2014 11:57 AM EDT
Program For The Funeral
Share this: tumblr
Share this: tumblr
08/25/2014 11:04 AM EDT
Noteworthy Funeral Attendees
Share this: tumblr
08/25/2014 10:58 AM EDT
Waiting For Brown's Family
Share this: tumblr
08/25/2014 10:57 AM EDT
Police Captain Ron Johnson Arrives
Share this: tumblr
Share this: tumblr
08/25/2014 10:45 AM EDT
Mo. Sen. To Attend Funeral
Share this: tumblr
Share this: tumblr
08/25/2014 10:37 AM EDT
Casket In Place

MSNBC reports:

Share this: tumblr
08/25/2014 10:35 AM EDT
Funeral Security
Share this: tumblr
08/25/2014 10:33 AM EDT
Brown's Father Asks For Peace
Share this: tumblr

MSNBC reports:

Share this: tumblr
08/25/2014 10:26 AM EDT
Hands Up
Share this: tumblr
08/25/2014 10:22 AM EDT
Sanctuary Filling Fast For Funeral

CNN reports:

Share this: tumblr

Missouri congressman Lacy Clay (D) said on Thursday that he had "serious concerns" about the prosecutor in charge of Michael Brown's case.

"I also have serious concerns about the local prosecutors, about their ability to fairly prosecute this case in the interests of justice. To deliver justice to this community, or to Michael Brown's family. And I say that because we have a track record," Clay told CNN.

Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch has come under heavy scrutiny in the days following Brown's death. Critics say that McCulloch's ties to law enforcement will cloud his judgement and have called on Governor Jay Nixon (D) to appoint a special prosecutor instead. A petition against him has received over 70,000 signatures.

McCulloch's father was a police officer killed in the line of duty.

For his part, McCulloch has promised that his investigation will be fair and thorough. In a statement, he said:

I have no intention of walking away from the responsibilities and duties entrusted to me by the people of this community. Additionally, there is no basis in the law to do so. I have faithfully and fairly carried out those responsibilities and duties for more than two decades and will continue to do so for at least the next four years.

Nixon has also repeatedly insisted that he won't take McCulloch off the case.

Alana Horowitz

Share this: tumblr
Share this: tumblr
Share this: tumblr
Share this: tumblr

From HuffPost's Dave Jamieson:

Like the rest of the St. Louis community, including their own teachers, Gateway students had emotional discussions about being black in America, about mistrust of the police, about peaceful demonstration and violent protest. They were asked to write down what they were feeling about Ferguson, with the assurance that no sentiments were out of bounds.

Click here to read excerpts from the responses penned by a group of 7th and 8th graders at the school.

Share this: tumblr

Washington Post reports that Darren Wilson was injured following a scuffle with Michael Brown before he shot and killed him.

A family friend told WaPo that Wilson's eye bone was fractured. Fox News reported similar information earlier this week, citing a police source.

Another source told CNN that these reports are false.

Last week, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson told reporters that Wilson was taken to the hospital following the incident, but did not say for what.

Share this: tumblr
Share this: tumblr

HuffPost's Arthur Delaney reports:

When Attorney General Eric Holder went to Ferguson, Missouri, on Wednesday, he assured local residents the U.S. Justice Department will swiftly investigate the police killing of an unarmed black teenager on Aug. 9.

In meetings with locals, Holder emphasized how his own past experiences will inform his work overseeing the Justice Department's investigation of Michael Brown's killing. He told students at a community college there that police searched his car when he'd been stopped for speeding on the New Jersey Turnpike.

"I remember how humiliating that was and how angry I was and the impact it had on me," Holder said. "The same kid who got stopped on the New Jersey freeway is now the attorney general of the United States."

But Holder's critics point out that this is the same man who was woefully soft on bad cops when he served as Washington, D.C.'s top prosecutor in the mid-1990s.

"Relying on Holder to take action is like sending a guy with a cup of water to put out a wildfire," said Gregory Lattimer, an attorney who has represented family members of people killed by D.C. police, including DeOnte Rawlings, a 14-year-old boy shot in the back of the head by an off-duty officer in 1997.

"[Holder] was part of the problem in D.C., not the solution," Lattimer said. "He says all the right things and then he goes out and defends the status quo."

Read more here.

Share this: tumblr

Around the Web

Governor Declares Emergency, Sets Ferguson Curfew - ABC News

Curfew, state of emergency declared in Ferguson - Los Angeles Times

Gov. Nixon: Curfew is ' not to silence the people of Ferguson'

State of emergency, curfew declared amid Ferguson protests -

Missouri Orders Nightly Curfew to Quell Looting -

Mo. gov. declares state of emergency, curfew in Ferguson

Angry residents confront Gov. Jay Nixon, who orders curfew in Ferguson

Governor Nixon imposes curfew in Ferguson from Midnight- 5 am

Missouri governor declares state of emergency and curfew in Ferguson

Missouri Gov. Declares State of Emergency, Curfew for Ferguson