The first, rainy night of Ferguson, Missouri's state-imposed curfew was not without problems. About a half hour after the midnight-to-5 a.m. curfew began, police in riot gear confronted a group of protesters who were chanting, "We are Mike Brown! We have the right to assemble peacefully!" Officers used armored vehicles and tear gas on the crowd, despite Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ronald Johnson's earlier pledge not to do so.
The back of the police line. Several dozen officers. pic.twitter.com/rDH3iC4tD8— Matt Pearce (@mattdpearce) August 17, 2014
During a 3 a.m. press conference, Johnson said that the cops brought out the tear gas as part of an effort to reach a man who had been shot by an unknown, non-police person near a barbecue place. The gunshot victim was taken to a hospital and is now in critical condition. According to Johnson, several armed men broke into the restaurant, and one waved a gun in the middle of the street, though he ran away before the police could stop him. Somebody else shot at a police car. Meanwhile, seven of the demonstrators were arrested and charged with "failure to disperse," the New York Times reports.
Despite the clashes, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon called Saturday night "a solid step forward" on ABC's This Week. He also said that he was feeling "much better about the situation" by Sunday morning.
Also on Sunday, the Justice Department announced that, "due to the extraordinary circumstances involved in this case," it would conduct an autopsy of Mike Brown's body. The St. Louis County Medical Examiner is conducting its own examination of Brown's remains, as is a forensic pathologist hired by the 18-year-old's family. Though a full week has passed since Brown died, it remains unclear how many times officer Darren Wilson shot him.