ST. LOUIS • The City of Ferguson agreed in a federal court order Wednesday not to enforce any rule or policy banning sidewalk protesters.
In a consent judgment, the city agreed not to “arrest, threaten to arrest, or order to move” anyone “peaceably standing, marching, or assembling on public sidewalks” and not obstructing people or vehicles.
The order was prompted by a lawsuit filed Aug. 18, the same day police began forcing protesters to keep moving and not stand on sidewalks along West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson.
On Oct. 6, U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry issued a preliminary injunction ordering St. Louis county police and the Missouri Highway Patrol to stop using the tactic, which was prompted by protests over the Aug. 9 fatal police shooting of Michael Brown that had become increasingly violent.
As in the preliminary injunction, Wednesday judgment does not bar police from enforcing a state law making it a misdemeanor to refuse an officer's “lawful command” to leave if “present at the scene of an unlawful assembly, or at the scene of a riot.”