The National Guard did little to ebb the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, on Monday night as dozens of protesters were arrested despite new police tactics aimed at restoring the peace.
After a day and evening of mostly peaceful demonstrations, violence again erupted after nightfall; similar clashes between police and protesters have become the nightly norm since the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a local officer on Aug. 9. Police squared off with protesters along the city’s main street, West Florissant Avenue, shooting tear gas, smoke bombs and flash grenades, and using sound cannons to disperse the crowd. Protesters lobbed some of the gas canisters back at police.
Mariana Atencio goes on a ride-along with young residents of Ferguson, Mo.
At least two people were shot and 31 arrested Monday night. Four officers were injured by rocks or bottles, Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol told The Associated Press.
Etefia Umana Jr., a 20-year-old college student who lives in Ferguson, said the police presence is doing little to ease tensions. He does not anticipate the National Guard's involvement will improve the situation.
"They'd make things worse," said Umana, who says he was tear gassed last night. "They keep escalating things. This constant adversarial, paternalistic stance is not leading to anything good whatsoever."
On Monday, Gov. Jay Nixon lifted a curfew that had been in place since Saturday and ordered the National Guard to assist with peacekeeping efforts.
Also Monday, the Missouri Highway Patrol, which has been in charge of security in Ferguson since Thursday, limited the area where demonstrators were allowed. The Highway Patrol also required demonstrators to keep moving and not stand around. The QuikTrip that served as the center of the protesting was cleared out and a perimeter was set up to prevent cars from driving through the area. Journalists were largely confined to an area set up for media and were warned that they risked arrest if they left that area.
Ferguson schools were scheduled to reopen Tuesday, but officials have postponed the start of the school year until at least Friday due to the continued unrest in the city.