Police in Ferguson shot tear gas into a crowd of protestors on Wednesday night in an attempt to clear an area of West Florissant Avenue after the protests turned violent. Several dozen people had marched in the street demanding justice in the death of 18 year old Michael Brown, when they clashed with officers who then dispersed the scene.
The protests had been mainly peaceful until someone in the crowd began throwing items at officers who responded with tear gas and noise devices that sent people running for safety. Police say bottles and bricks were thrown at officers and the decision was made to clear the street and more than a dozen people were arrested including a St. Louis City alderman who was filming the scene. Two television news crews were forced to move from the scene by police, including one that was hit by tear gas and beanbags. Police officers also entered a nearby McDonald’s last evening telling people to leave the building. Two reporters for the Washington Post and Huffington Post who were meeting inside were taken into custody for a short time but later released without being charged.
Meanwhile, St. Louis County prosecutors say there is no timetable for the investigation into the shooting death of Brown at the hands of a Ferguson police officer. A number of witnesses are still waiting to be interviewed by investigators. The officer’s name has not been released and apparently will not at this time out of concern for his safety. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has cancelled his scheduled for today and will visit Ferguson to monitor the situation.