Activists at a peaceful protest were arrested at the office of the U.S. Department of Justice in St. Louis Monday as witnessed in Vines uploaded by Twitter user and activist DeRay McKesson.
Protesters were apparently staging a sit-in, urging the DOJ to do its job in the face of police violence, and blocking off the entrance to the building. McKesson tweeted that the police were present, and then noted that arrests began shortly after their arrival. Activists Cornel West and Johnetta “Netta” Elzie were among those arrested, with eventually McKesson himself also being taken into custody shortly after filming Elzie’s arrest.
Referencing the mysterious circumstances of Sandra Bland’s death, Elzie chillingly tweeted shortly before her arrest, “If I’m arrested today, please know I’m not suicidal. I have plenty to live for. I did not resist, I’m just black.”
St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger has since issued a state of emergency, citing “last night’s violence” in Ferguson, Mo.
“In light of last night’s violence and unrest in the city of Ferguson, and the potential for harm to persons and property, I am exercising my authority as county executive to issue a state of emergency, effective immediately,” Stenger said in a statement, according to CBS News.
On Sunday night, during a protest on behalf of Michael Brown, the unarmed teen who was killed a year ago by now-former Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, gunshots were fired, injuring one 20-year-old man, who had to be taken to the hospital for surgery.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said the individual opened fire at officers and that several people shot “several rounds” that evening.