47 People Arrested in Ferguson as Quiet Protest Turns Tense

Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson told reporters at a press conference that some “criminals and agitators” disguised as protesters began threatening police and that some even threw urine-filled plastic bottles at police.  

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A protester speaks emotionally with a police officer during a protest in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 19, 2014. 

Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images

The evening started off peacefully as protesters assembled, chanted and then made their way early Wednesday morning to the lot of an old Ford dealership approved by police as an authorized demonstration area. Protesters were even allowed to spend the night in the lot if they wanted.

However, Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson noted that some protesters, whom he called “criminals and agitators,” began to threaten the police, throwing glass and even plastic bottles, some of which were filled with urine, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Johnson held a press conference early Wednesday morning and told reporters that “47 people were arrested and the loaded handguns were seized,” according to the Post-Dispatch.

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Police officers stand on alert during a protest along a street in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 19, 2014. Police lowered their profile on Aug. 19 and refrained from using tear gas to allow a more orderly night of protests in the St. Louis suburb.

Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images

He noted that one man who was arrested is from Austin, Texas, and has been arrested on two separate occasions since the protests began.

“Tonight we saw a different dynamic,” Johnson said, according to the Post-Dispatch. “Protest crowds were a bit smaller, and they were out early. We had to respond to fewer incidents than the night before. There were no Molotov cocktails tonight. There were no shootings.”

According to the newspaper, Johnson thanked those in Ferguson who have continually gone out to clean the debris and trash left by both the police and protesters. “That is the true spirit of Ferguson,” Johnson said.

Read more at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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