After two nights of using tear gas and rubber bullets to break up crowds demonstrating against the killing of Michael Brown, cops in Missouri are asking for respect. In a statement this afternoon, Ferguson police say they “are working to restore confidence in the safety of our community and our neighborhoods so that we may begin the healing process.” But in order to do so, “We ask that any groups wishing to assemble in prayer or in protest do so only during daylight hours in an organized and respectful manner.”
Police critically wounded an allegedly armed man overnight in Ferguson, while a woman was shot in an unrelated incident.
The statement on Wednesday adds that authorities “have heard the community’s cries for justice,” and continues, “We further ask all those wishing to demonstrate or assemble to disperse well before the evening hours to ensure the safety of the participants and the safety of our community.” That’s not really how this works.
While Brown’s family has spoken out against the violence and looting, the teenager’s father said, “I need all of us to come together and do it right, the right way, so we can get something done about this.”
St. Louis County Police say they have interviewed a dozen people so far about the incident that left Brown dead, not counting the officer responsible, who has still not been named publicly.
Update, 4:26 p.m.: At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said there will be no curfew. However, “We’d like the protesting to end after dark.” Some protesters are trying to provoke the officers, he said.
“Race relations,” Jackson added, “are a top priority right now.”