Ferguson Police Fire Gas, Rubber Bullets at Protesters; Several Shot

Unconfirmed Reports of Slain Protester in Latest Crackdown

Brief calm in the streets of Ferguson appears to be over with the imposition of a new curfew across the city over the weekend, and crackdowns by militarized police appear once again to be escalating, with overnight reports of them firing tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowds of demonstrators. Smoke grenades and sound cannons were also used..

Earlier in the evening, police began firing on the crowds, and demanding that the media leave the scene, with video emerging of police threatening to shoot one cameraman filming the demonstration, and later accosting an MSNBC reporter, threatening to mace him if he didn’t leave. Several other journalists were reported briefly arrested, and told to avoid covering the streets where the main protest was going on.

Several injuries have been reported from the rubber bullets being fired into the crowd, and ambulances took at least three of the shot to the hospital. Unconfirmed reports also suggest one of the demonstrators may have been killed by taking rubber bullet fire at close range.

After taking the militarized local police of the street briefly deescalated the situation, the imposition of curfews and the return of armored vehicles seems to have put the situation back to square one, with police clearly not having learned the lesson of the past week, and continuing to believe they can manage the narrative if they rough up and arrest enough reporters, and crack down violently enough on the demonstrators. Clearly, that is not working.

Governor Jay Nixon, who ordered the curfew, offered mild criticism for the brutality of the police, saying there were times when they were “a little aggressive.”

Many in Congress were a lot more critical of the crackdown, with Rep. Lacy Clay (D – MO), the local representative, saying having “a military police force facing down innocent protesters with sniper rifles and machine guns is totally unacceptable in America.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.