The Washington Post is reporting that police arrested dozens of protestors and used tear gas to disperse others involved in a sit-in at a St. Louis gas station at around 1 a.m. Sunday morning.
The sit-in was part of four days of planned protests this weekend dubbed Ferguson October, which so far had gone without the arrests and violent clashes with police that characterized protests in the days following the August shooting of Michael Brown.
Reporter Wesley Lowery was on the scene where more than people 100 swarmed the gas station:
When the protest reached the gas station, march leaders yelled through the loud speakers: “Do not cause any destruction; this is a peaceful protest.” Then, volunteers stood guard at the gas station’s entrances to make sure no one entered or harmed the building.
Police deployed tear gas, which affected not only the protestors, but also people who were walking home as local bars let out, Lowery wrote.
The St. Louis police chief, who was on the scene, later tweeted that the measures were a response to protestors throwing rocks at police.
Lowery, however, said that he didn't see protestors acting violently toward the officers.
A Post reporter at the QuikTrip did not observe any acts of aggression from protesters toward the police. However, he was standing on the sidewalk off of the gas station lot in compliance with police orders and could not observe the entirety of the interaction unobstructed. Protest leaders insist that no rocks were thrown at officers, many of whom were carrying video cameras.
Hopefully, that footage will surface soon and help explain exactly what happened here.
[Via The Washington Post]