Protesters gathered outside the last night to chant in preparation for an 8pm vigil for 18-year old Mike Brown, who was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, on Saturday, Aug. 9. Earlier in the day, St. Louis Clergy Coalition held a prayer vigil outside the Ferguson Police Department with the evening vigil held at the Canfield Green apartment complex where Brown died. According to reports, tensions between protesters, other individuals and police were high and things began to escalate as the night wore on.
Crowds began to target a QuikTrip in the area; authorities initially claimed that Brown had stolen a cigar from the store, a claim that proved false. People flooded the QuikTrip, smashing windows and taking items. The store was then set on fire. There were also reports of rocks being hurled at passing police vehicles.
The Ferguson police have stated that Brown walked over to his police car, attempted to engage him and take his weapon. “As the officer was exiting his police car, [Brown] allegedly pushed the officer back into the car where he physically assaulted the police officer,” the police have stated. “Within the police car there was a struggle for the officer’s weapon.”
Witnesses have said that Brown was shot as he walked away from the police car, then shot again as he held his hands in the air and begged for his life.
The Rev. Al Sharpton said that he plans to meet with the Brown’s family and issued a statement to the media:
Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014 (New York)—
“I just spoke with Leslie McSpadden, the grandfather of Michael Brown. He has asked me to come to St. Louis in light of the police killing of his grandson to assist the family in achieving a fair investigation and justice. I assured him that National Action Network will stand with the family, as we have done for families around the country and assist in any way that we can. I am dispatching Rev. De-Ves Toon of our National Action Network field department to St. Louis immediately to prepare for my visit, and to work with groups in the area as we pursue justice in the tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”
-Reverend Al Sharpton, President of National Action Network”