FERGUSON, MO. — Sweltering heat, police presence and the imminent arrival of the Missouri National Guard did not deter protesters in Ferguson, Mo. on Monday.
An estimated crowd of more than 200 people gathered on West Florrisant Avenue actively protesting the shooting death of Mike Brown. Protesters previously gathered outside the Quik Trip convenience store on the same street that was burned out in a previous night of looting, but police refused to let anyone remain at the scene for more than a moment.
Police prevented protesters from gathering in one spot forcing everyone to move constantly. Despite the high temperature and humidity, the protesters marched up and down the street.
“We will not rest. The sign says it: ‘no justice, no peace,’” said Johanna Pimentel, a resident of Ferguson and substitute teacher at Brown’s school in Normandy, Mo. “I’m sorry. You cannot murder this boy in the streets and have the streets cry out, and then silence the streets. That boy lay on the ground for four hours and we are crying out for him. And what are we doing? We’re going to protest.”
The protesters were adamant to the police that they were not there to loot, but felt they were being victimized as such. The demonstrations went on relatively without incident from either side, save for when one man was slammed to the ground and arrested. Another man was arrested as well.
When The Daily Caller asked what the charges against the two were, one of the officers responded, “This is a violent area and you are instigating. Please move along.”
Shortly after the two arrests in an apparent change of policy, the police dispersed. The activists continued to line the streets with signs and passing automobiles honked in support.
Meanwhile Capt. Ron Johnson of the highway patrol said the curfew imposed on Ferguson was being lifted for Monday night. Johnson said peaceful protests were allowed to resume, and he would make certain that the safety of law-abiding citizens’ was guaranteed.
“Tonight, we will ensure the safety of the citizens of Ferguson, the visitors to Ferguson, the business of Ferguson,” he said in a press conference Monday. “We will not allow vandals, criminal elements, to impact the safety and security of this community.”
Discerning between the looters and protesters has been a cause of concern for both the residents and police. Pimentel said she did not believe any of the looters were from the community.
Police have used tear gas and rubber bullets to neutralize looters several nights since Brown’s shooting. The turmoil has gotten so bad that President Barack Obama said in a press conference Monday that Attorney General Eric Holder would be making an emergency trip to Missouri. Holder will meet with Johnson, Gov. Jay Nixon and community leaders in an attempt to quell the violence.
Photos by Seth Richardson
Eric Owens contributed to this story.