FERGUSON, Mo. -- Missouri state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal strongly believes in the rights to free speech and assembly.
"We have a First Amendment right. I support the First Amendment like crazy gun people support the Second Amendment, and I'll do anything for the First Amendment," said Chappelle-Nadal, a Democrat.
The lawmaker, whose district includes Ferguson, has been a prominent voice on West Florissant Avenue, the street where protests and riots have been happening ever since 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson.
Chappelle-Nadal is one of the few local politicians who has been on the scene in Ferguson. She has been outspoken about the use of tear gas on peaceful protesters and has been tear-gassed herself.
She talked to The Huffington Post on Aug. 15, the day that the Ferguson Police Department released surveillance footage linking Brown to a theft at a nearby liquor store.
"It doesn't matter if Michael Brown committed theft or not," Chappelle-Nadal said. "That's not the issue. The issue is what happened when Darren Wilson encountered Michael Brown and when he died."
Watch the video above.