St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson and Mayor Francis Slay held a brief press conference Tuesday morning, in which the police chief aired his disappointment in the violence that erupted Monday following the announcement that Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted in the shooting of Michael Brown. Dotson promised, however, that police won't back down.
“You will see a large police presence tonight,” Dotson said.
After the announcement, dozens of buildings were set on fire in Ferguson amid continuous reports of gunfire and looting. Police cars were vandalized and some protesters threw bricks at officers around the police station. At another press conference hours earlier, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar characterized the violence as “much worse than the worst night we had in August,” referencing the unrest that immediately followed Brown’s death.
“I’m disappointed in all the violence," Dotson said. "There’s a difference between having your voices heard versus criminal activity." He added that there would “be more resources deployed” on Tuesday night.
Slay hailed authorities' ability to "deal with the large crowds" without resorting to violence themselves. Police in St. Louis and Ferguson were, however, seen firing tear gas and smoke grenades at protesters.
Despite the destruction following the announcement, no deaths had been reported as of Tuesday morning.