Police in St. Louis and Ferguson arrested at least 19 protesters on Monday as they took to the rainy streets of Ferguson, MO, calling for more accountability in law enforcement tactics and an end to racial profiling in the wake of recent police-related shootings of black teenagers.
Last Wednesday, an off-duty police officer fatally shot 18-year-old Vonderrit D. Myers in the Shaw neighborhood of St. Louis. Police say Myers opened fire on the officer first, but Myers’ family insists he was unarmed. This set off another series of angry protests with members of the community demanding an investigation.
At least 10 separate events were planned at undisclosed places for “Moral Monday,” the final installment of what protesters have called “Ferguson October,” a four-day gathering of activists, faith and community leaders angered by the August death of Michael Brown. The events in and around St. Louis and Ferguson have been primarily peaceful, but have nonetheless raised tensions between activists and police in the area’s already strained climate.
Monday’s march began in the late morning at Wellspring Church and led to Ferguson’s police station, where about 13 demonstrators were arrested after attempting to enter, including well-known activist and a Baptist minister Cornel West. He was led away with others who were standing outside the station when protesters began attempting to enter.
Another protest took place several miles away in front of Emerson Electric, where protesters blocked the intersection in front of the company several minutes before police moved in and made six arrests.
St. Louis police told USA Today that they were taking extra precautions to ensure public safety with more officers on hand to monitor protests.
Police arrested at least 17 more protesters over the weekend for unlawful assembly when demonstrators surrounded a QuikTrip station in St. Louis early Sunday morning and staged a sit-in.
Also on Sunday, several hundred demonstrators marched peacefully from Shaw to the St. Louis University campus, where they were joined by several students.