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Four people arrested by Ferguson police; metal screws, bottles thrown at officers, chief says

Four people arrested by Ferguson police; metal screws, bottles thrown at officers, chief says


FERGUSON — Police arrested four people and used pepper spray on protesters outside the Ferguson Police Department late Sunday as about 100 people gathered to mark the sixth anniversary of Michael Brown’s death.

Ferguson police Chief Jason P. Armstrong said some people in the crowd tossed bottles, metal screws and wooden sticks at officers. Letters were ripped from the department’s sign and paint was sprayed on the sign, the road and parking lot, he said.

Armstrong said Monday that the officers “made repeated announcements, via megaphone, to not throw objects at officers and to not enter onto the property of the police department.”

When the problems persisted, Armstrong said, police declared the assembly unlawful and told the crowd to disperse. Ferguson police called for backup from the Missouri Highway Patrol and St. Louis County police.

Two officers suffered minor injuries, Armstrong said. They were treated at the scene. Armstrong did not elaborate on the injuries or say which departments they represented.

The four who were arrested were two 22-year-old men, a 24-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman, all from St. Louis. They were booked on suspicion of failure to disperse.

The evening outside the police station started with some line dancing among protesters and music. At one point, barricades were dragged into the road to block traffic. Police moved the barricades back. Tensions grew and then relaxed a bit over the evening.

Police eventually ordered the protesters off the parking lot but they argued it was public property. At one point, protesters held up shields spelling out “Black Lives Matter.”

The situation soon deteriorated and at one point police surged into the crowd, making arrests and using pepper spray. Bottles were thrown at the officers in response.

Following the clash, some protesters asked for St. Louis County police Capt. Jerry Lohr to talk with them. He came out from behind the police line and spoke with a contingent of protest leaders. The captain then had the officers step back and the situation calmed after that.

Earlier in the day, people had met up on the street at the Canfield Apartments where the 18-year-old Brown was fatally shot by a Ferguson police officer six years ago. The crowd had a memorial service and released doves. For coverage on the memorials and protests Sunday, go here.

Rachel Rice of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.

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