On Sunday, August 17, the ninth night of protests and the second night of a mandatory curfew imposed by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, protests in Ferguson again turned chaotic and violent. Police fired tear gas into a crowd of protesters, hitting at least one child, according to reporters at the scene.
Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, who's in charge of security at the Ferguson protests, said at a press conference that police actions were prompted by violent acts, including shootings, hurled Molotov cocktails, and vandalism of various businesses, before the curfew went into effect. Johnson said police had to call in additional support to deal with the escalating situation.
Three people were injured and seven or eight were arrested throughout the night, according to police reports. No officers were injured.
"We are planning additional steps to calm the violence," Johnson said. He would not elaborate on what those additional steps will look like.
Reports from throughout the night
— St. Louis County Police Department tweeted a warning shortly before the tear gas began.
Molotov cocktails being thrown at police. Tactical units on scene. Please leave the area!— St. Louis County PD (@stlcountypd) August 18, 2014
— And then police in riot gear moved in, ordering everyone to go home well before the 12 a.m. curfew.
— Some protesters had to be treated for tear gas burns.
— Some reporters pointed out the situation is total chaos.
God #ferguson looks like a civil war.— jelani cobb (@jelani9) August 18, 2014
— A later report of gunshots — around 10:30 p.m. local time — were later clarified by police to be fireworks.
Report of shots fired has been cleared as fireworks, police say. #Ferguson— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) August 18, 2014
— Some reporters said they were briefly arrested by Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Johnson, who's in charge of security in Ferguson.
Captain Johnson arrested us for 2 minutes. We pleaded that we had followed every instruction. He let us go.— Robert Klemko (@RobertKlemko) August 18, 2014
— Reporters pointed out that it's very difficult to report what's going on, because police are threatening journalists and pushing them into specific areas.
Had police not corralled reporters, and if molotovs had been thrown, St Louis PD tweet could have been confirmed more readily. #ferguson— Ben Kesling (@bkesling) August 18, 2014
Boston Globe reporter RT @akjohnson1922: Cop just told photog to "back the fuck up or ill shot.""— Charles Ornstein (@charlesornstein) August 18, 2014
— One livestream operator caught a cop threatening to shoot him on camera.