FAA Issues Flight Restriction After Rioters Fired ‘Multiple Times’ At Police Helicopter
The Federal Aviation Administration issued a temporary flight restriction on Tuesday for an area surrounding Ferguson, M0., the town where a police officer fatally shot an unarmed 18-year-old black man, after a St. Louis County police helicopter was fired upon Sunday night.
The flight restriction was issued Tuesday at 1:15 p.m. local time. The reason for the notice is “TO PROVIDE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITIES.”
A Ferguson police officer shot Michael Brown on Saturday. The incident sparked outrage in the community as Brown was reportedly unarmed and surrendering to the officer when he was shot multiple times. (RELATED: MSNBC Panel: Police, Justice System ‘Don’t See Black And Brown People As Full Human Beings’)
A heavy police presence appeared as protesters gathered on Saturday, and community anger spilled over into looting and rioting Sunday night, following a vigil.
A number of stores were set on fire, numerous gunshots were reported and 32 people were arrested.
The anger boiled over to the point that someone on the ground fired at a county police helicopter. (RELATED: News Photographer Needed His War Gear To Cover Missouri Riot Following Police Shooting)
The decision to request the FAA’s help in securing flight restriction “was made immediately when our St. Louis County Police helicopter was fired at multiple times on Sunday night,” St. Louis County police spokesman Brian Schellman told The Daily Caller.
“Due to the hostile scene, they called for the restriction for the safety of those flying,” Schellman said. “As soon as [police commanders] feel it is safe to resume so, they will lift the restriction.”
The FAA’s restriction allows only relief craft operations conducted by the St. Louis County police department to access a radius of three nautical miles around the town.
FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro told TheDC that the agency issues flight restrictions to local law enforcement agencies who provide good reason for the flight limitations. The restriction will also prevent the hindrance of any local law enforcement aircraft such as helicopters.
Civil rights leader Al Sharpton traveled to Ferguson on Tuesday. He urged local citizens to avoid violence while calling for the federal government to take over the investigation into Brown’s death. (RELATED: Al Sharpton Calls For Peace And Federal Investigation Of Black Teen’s Shooting Death)
Ferguson police maintain that the officer shot Brown after the teen assaulted him and attempted to gain control of his service weapon. A shot was fired in the officer’s police car. Brown was shot multiple times. Shots were also fired when Brown was 35-feet from the officer’s cruiser.
(h/t Gateway Pundit)