The situation in Ferguson continues to worsen, with tension between protestors and police seemingly rising with every second. Despite a brief reprieve late last week when Missouri Governor Jay Nixon relieved St Louis County Police of their command and placed Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson – a black man and a native of Ferguson – in charge, the situation escalated once again on Sunday night following the weekend instalment of a police-enforced curfew.
Walked past cops seconds before the barrage. They were putting on gas masks. Couldn’t understand why #Ferguson pic.twitter.com/Ua1QK5qOn4
— Jon Swaine (@jonswaine) August 18, 2014
absolute total chaos. multiple tear gas kids everywhere cops told me they’re gonna keep launching insane
— Amy K. Nelson (@AmyKNelson) August 18, 2014
Whoa. This kid was just hit with tear gas. Mom is freaking out. #Ferguson pic.twitter.com/5SHrdZvFqV
— Amanda Terkel (@aterkel) August 18, 2014
Police just threw tear gas at protestors.”This is no longer a peaceful protest. You must leave the area,” a police announcer says. #Ferguson
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) August 18, 2014
Cops literally just fired on what was the press area. We scrambled running. Cops continuing up neighborhood streets
— Sean Stout (@TERROREYEStv) August 18, 2014
Cop just told photog to “back the fuck up or ill shot.”
— Akilah Johnson (@akjohnson1922) August 18, 2014
More of what was used against crowd of protestors in #Ferguson pic.twitter.com/0mdKF8P3mJ
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) August 18, 2014
Just prior to the Police offensive, the St Louis County PD had tweeted that Molotov cocktails had been thrown at police. But press on the scene are disputing that claim.
Molotov cocktails being thrown at police. Tactical units on scene. Please leave the area!
— St. Louis County PD (@stlcountypd) August 18, 2014
Any reporter on-scene witness crowd throwing Molotov cocktails as being claimed by police? #Ferguson
— Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) August 18, 2014
This new escalation in heavy-handed Police responses comes on the heels of a preliminary autopsy report being released that found that Michael Brown had been shot a total of six times, which included two shots in the head – one on top of his head, indicating that he was leaning down when struck with, what proved to be, the fatal shot.