Ferguson shooting: Missouri Police arrest dozens as protesters throw Molotov cocktails

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing `heavy gunfire` from some `criminal elements`, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

By Supriya Jha | Last Updated: Aug 19, 2014, 17:09 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha

Ferguson: As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing `heavy gunfire` from some `criminal elements`, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

The arrests come after days and nights of protests triggered by fatal shooting of a black unarmed teenager named Michael Brown by a white policeman.

The shooting incident in Ferguson town of Missouri on August 9, is increasingly being seen as a racial issue with huge crowds of blacks protesting against 18-year-old Michael Brown`s shooting, with banners like “Stop killing us” and “Don`t shoot”, “Can`t I be Free”, etc.

According to a new survey by the Pew Research Centre, majority of blacks (80%) consider that Brown`s shooting has raised a big issue about race, however, most of Republicans (61%) think that race is getting more-than-needed attention in the incident.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama urged the angry protesters to remain calm, saying he understood the “passion and anger” triggered by the black teen`s death, reported the BBC.

Obama urged people to refrain from “looting or carrying guns and even attacking the police” as these things only raise tensions and stir chaos.

Obama also talked about a "gulf of mistrust" that existed between local residents and law enforcement agencies in many communities where “many young men of colour are left behind and seen only as objects of fear".

US Attorney General Eric Holder, who will travel to Ferguson on Wednesday, urged people to remain patient as the investigation was underway. He stresses that the investigation would go a long way in bridging the gap between the locals and the law enforcement agency.

 
The protests on Monday night came even as Missouri Governor Jay Nixon ordered deployment of National Guard in Ferguson to contain the chaos that aggravated with incidents of looting.

However, the curfew was lifted
According to the police, the protests that were peaceful till evening worsened as night fell to grow into a violent demonstration with the criminals from outside the town threw Molotov cocktails and also fired at police vehicles.

Speaking in a news conference, State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson said, "Not a single bullet was fired by officers despite coming under heavy attack (on Monday night)”.

Displaying two confiscated guns a Molotov cocktail, that had been hurled at the police, Johnson said, “Protesters are peaceful and respectful. They don’t clash with police. They don’t throw Molotov cocktails”.

"These criminal acts came from a tiny minority of law breakers," added the officer, saying that the protesters were joined by some miscreants from as far as New York or California, reported the NBC news.