Armed officers used pepper spray in violent clashes with protesters who tried to storm a police headquarters on Sunday — the sixth anniversary of Michael Brown’s police-custody death — in his Missouri hometown, according to authorities.
Viral videos show officers clad in riot gear spraying protesters as they defended a barricade set up outside the Ferguson department building.
“Are you pointing a gun at me?” journalist Chuck Modi asked an officer in a video of the tense standoff that he posted to Twitter. “Is that necessary?” he asked the cop.
Ferguson police insisted early Monday that the clashes were started by a “hostile” group who threw bottles, sticks and screws as they tried to get past the barricade into the police parking lot.
Officers used pepper spray only after “multiple orders” to disperse were ignored, the force said, with two officers suffering minor injuries.
Four people were arrested, all from St. Louis, including a 24-year-old woman who was wanted on an arrest warrant, the force said. All four were charged with failure to disperse.
Police also shared images from vandalism during the protest — including letters ripped off from the police department’s sign and replaced with “FTP” for “f–k the police.”
The violence came after a memorial service for Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old who was fatally shot by Ferguson cops on Aug. 9, 2014, sparking violent protests at the time.
White doves were released after 4-1/2 minutes of silence to represent the roughly 4-1/2 hours that Brown’s body lay in the middle of the street after he was shot.
Brown’s father, Michael Brown Sr., earlier wore a T-shirt bearing his son’s image and the slogan “Chosen for Change” as he attended the newly rebuilt memorial of teddy bears, candles and flowers on the quiet residential road where Brown died.
Just weeks ago, St. Louis County’s top prosecutor announced that he would not be charging Darren Wilson, the former officer who shot Brown.
A federal review found that he broke no laws in the fatal shooting — but determined that Ferguson police had violated the rights of the city’s black population for years.
With Post wires
Source: New York Post
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