ST LOUIS (AP) – More demonstrations are planned over the shooting of a black 18-year-old by a white police officer in suburban Ferguson this summer, after 17 people were arrested during weekend protests, St. Louis police said.
Organizers of the four-day Ferguson October summit are protesting the shooting of Michael Brown, which sparked sometimes violent demonstrations in the predominantly black St. Louis suburb of Ferguson in August.
Early on Sunday morning, about 200 protesters, some wearing masks, made their way to the south St Louis neighbourhood where another black 18-year-old, Vonderrit D Myers, was killed by a white police officer recently.
Protesters marched toward a QuickTrip gas station convenience store and tried to force open its doors, St Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said at a news conference.
Police assembled in riot gear and instructed the crowd to disperse, he said. About 50 of the marchers created a human chain by locking their arms and about half of them heeded the police warning and left.
“The people who were left there were people who made a conscious decision they wanted to be arrested,” he said.
St Louis police spokeswoman Schron Jackson said Sunday in an email that 17 people were arrested on suspicion of unlawful assembly. There were no reports of injuries or property damage, the email said.
On Monday, a “direct action” led by local and visiting clergy members is planned for Ferguson and other spots in and around St Louis. Protest leaders don’t plan to release details until shortly ahead of time to avoid tipping off law enforcement.
“We still are knee deep in this situation,” Kareem Jackson, a St. Louis rap artist and community organiser whose stage name is Tef Poe, said Saturday. “We have not packed up our bags, we have not gone home. This is not a fly-by-night moment. This is not a made-for-TV revolution. This is real people standing up to a real problem and saying, ‘We ain’t taking it no more.”’