Ferguson demonstrators try to block highway; at least 10 arrested
At least 10 demonstrators were arrested Wednesday during an ongoing standoff between police and protesters who tried to block an interstate near Ferguson, Mo.
The planned demonstration to block Interstate 70 in St. Louis County near Ferguson in protest of the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown was broadcast live by local TV stations.
Dozens of police from area agencies were already on the scene when demonstrators arrived. The police, only some of whom were carrying or wearing riot gear, first blocked an on-ramp to I-70 and then blocked all of the overpass on North Hanley Road.
Several predominantly younger demonstrators responded by sitting or laying down on the street. One man nearby held a sign that said, “Darren Wilson, you can’t hide, we want justice dead or alive!”
Wilson is the Ferguson police officer who killed Brown on Aug. 9 and who has since gone into hiding as demonstrators have called for his arrest and a St. Louis County grand jury considers whether to charge him with a crime in the shooting of Brown, 18, who was unarmed.
When demonstrators refused police orders to clear out of the road, officers first began to arrest protesters sitting or lying on the pavement, dragging one woman away after she refused to walk. Police also arrested some demonstrators standing in the road.
“What did I do? What did I just do?” asked one young man who had been standing in the road as police were placing restraints on his hands.
Arrested demonstrators were then taken to a white Missouri Department of Corrections bus. St. Louis Alderman Antonio French, who was on the scene, tweeted that at least two rocks were thrown after police began to break up the demonstration.
One demonstrator appeared to make it onto I-70 before being arrested and taken away by several officers.
On Tuesday, Benjamin Crump, the attorney representing Michael Brown’s family, tweeted that the family opposed “plans for non-peaceful protest,” though he did not specifically reference the planned highway demonstration.
The family had opposed a similar demonstration scheduled for Sept. 1, which was then canceled, though a few demonstrators still congregated and managed to briefly block traffic.
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