State of Emergency in Ferguson; Missouri governor also sets curfew

People loot the Ferguson Market and Liquor store on August 16, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Several businesses were looted as police held their position nearby. Violent outbreaks have taken place almost daily in Ferguson since the shooting of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer on August 9.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

People loot the Ferguson Market and Liquor store on August 16, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Several businesses were looted as police held their position nearby. Violent outbreaks have taken place almost daily in Ferguson since the shooting of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer on August 9. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

FERGUSON, Missouri (CNN) — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Saturday declared a state of emergency and implemented a midnight to 5 a.m. curfew in Ferguson, where the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager sparked a week of protests and sporadic looting.

“I’m committed to making sure the forces of peace and justice prevail,” Nixon said at a community meeting. “If we’re going to achieve justice, we first must have and maintain peace.”

But the meeting at a local church at times was tumultuous.

People repeatedly interrupted Nixon, shouting, “You need to charge the police with murder!” and “We want justice!”

And some residents said law enforcement officers had instigated the violence with their military-like tactics.

State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, in charge of security for the town, praised local citizens who tried to stop the looting of several businesses early Saturday. He said law enforcement would not be heavy-handed in enforcing the curfew.

“We won’t enforce it with trucks, we won’t enforce it with tear gas,” he said.

But at least one resident was skeptical about whether the curfew would work.

“It’s an intimidation thing. And you’re basically suppressing people who still have questions that need answers,” said Carissa McGraw, who has joined protests throughout the week. “You have people who — at this point — do not care what authorities say right now.”

Michael Brown killed a week ago

Ferguson, a town of about 22,000 people near St. Louis, entered the national consciousness on August 9 when a white police officer, identified as Darren Wilson, shot and killed and Michael Brown, 18, on a city street during the middle of the day.

Accounts of what happened vary widely. Police said Brown struggled with the officer and reached for his weapon. Several witnesses said Brown raised his hands and was not attacking the officer.

Since then, Ferguson has become a tinder box, with regular street protests, an influx of heavily armed law enforcement officers and intense media coverage.

A new development in the investigation popped up Saturday when a Brown family lawyer, Anthony Gray, said that Michael Baden will conduct a second autopsy on the the teenager’s body. Baden is a high-profile pathologist who testified in the O.J. Simpson, Phil Spector and Drew Peterson trials.

Early Saturday morning, before sunrise, a fragile peace was shattered when looters again targeted neighborhood businesses while law enforcement in riot gear largely looked on without intervening.

Some protesters tried to stop the looting, at times standing in front of one convenience store and preventing others from doing more damage. Police, criticized days earlier for being too aggressive with protesters, now drew the ire of merchants who told CNN they weren’t doing enough.

“You still have a job to do now, and now you’re not doing your job,” Tanya Littleton said of police after thieves broke into her beauty supply shop in the St. Louis suburb and made off with bags of hair extensions worth hundreds of dollars.

At noon Saturday — the hour that police say Wilson shot Brown a week earlier — protesters outside the police station silently raised their arms into the air, mimicking Brown’s purported actions right before he died.

Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson joined loud but peaceful crowds that marched in the street carrying signs saying “Mike Brown is our son” and “The whole world is watching Ferguson.” They chanted “Hands up, don’t shoot” and “Hey hey, ho ho, killer cops have got to go.”

Looting earlier in the day

The looting began at the Ferguson Market and Liquor store, which has become part of the case. Minutes before Brown was shot, police say, a man fitting his description allegedly stole cigars and roughed up a store clerk as surveillance cameras recorded.

Ferguson police released surveillance video of that robbery on Friday, but then emphasized that Wilson stopped Brown not because of the theft, but because Brown and a friend were “walking down the middle of the street blocking traffic.”

Release of the video on Friday angered some, who say police were using it to distract from Brown’s killing and make him look bad.

As protesters took to the streets early Saturday, more than two dozen people blocked off the convenience store with cars. Police with riot gear, tactical rifles and armored vehicles were nearby, commanding them through loudspeakers to free it up.

Instead, bottles flew, mayhem erupted, and looters ransacked the store, which the owner had boarded up. It was the first of at least three stores raided.

CNN’s Ralph Ellis and Jason Hanna reported and wrote from Atlanta, and Shimon Prokupecz and Steve Kastenbaum reported from Ferguson. CNN’s Evan Perez, Joe Sutton, Ben Brumfield, Jennifer Duck and Greg Botelho contributed to this report.

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47 comments

  • Kit

    Looting isn’t peaceful protest. When the situation got out of control, why didn’t the police and state patrol take action? I doubt if those businesses will be able to reopen after this mess.

    • Brady Mitchell

      Yours is a very vaild question, But the problem is, these folks have the attitude the you are damned if you do, damned if you don’t. When the initial protests broke out, the police did nothing, but as that first night went on, the rioting began, so the police were forced to come in with rioting type response force. Mind you, no one was killed, but businesses were looted, and burned. Then the police caught hell for heavy handed tactics. Some of it was justified, like when the tear gassed the news reporters and detained some. But the heavy gear stopped the looting So Chief Thomas Jackson takes over and they said no more of the heavy tacticool gear. He also released the name of the cop, along with details of what transpired prior to the shooting. He thought that would appease the protestors and stop anymore rioting. Guess what, more rioting and looting last night. The thing is, its not about the shooting, its spilled over and the looters are just using this as an excuse. Like I said, at this pointthe police are damned if the do, damned if they don’t…

      • Jason

        Your stance is pretty un-progressive Brad. Basically you are saying no matter what the police do, or don’t do ‘oh well’. Police are paid for a job and even in the face of criticisms they have to do their job. Otherwise, return all the tax funded armored cars and riot gear and go home without pay. In this circumstances to prevent looting, for sure riot gear was necessary, it was not for protestors. The issue is, the police have their own self interest not to look bad and are in PR mitigation mode instead of protecting business owners and the city mode – the duties of a police officer. From multiple reports i’ve read, it looks as the police didn’t get involved where, or where way late to respond to where they SHOULD have been, i.e. catching, and dispersing looters. Instead, they caught, dispersed (and arrested) tv crews (even gassing them), protestors and people taking pictures of them. This is ridiculous and just shows how dysfunctional this police department is. If police went after looters and protected businesses, then they definitely wouldn’t be damned if they do, matter of fact i bet they’d be praised and have the support of the business owners that support jobs and in turn taxes. Easy for the cops to go for the lowest picking fruit for them, unarmed protesters and camera crews in suit and ties. In other jobs, this is called unproductive ‘busy work’ The police in ferguson need to get to work in the right area (not harassing vocal nonviolent protestors) This also goes to show that confiscation of weapons from registered innocent civilians and no knock raids have contributed to the problem of people not able to defend themselves against looters in the face of gross incompetence from this police department.

        • Ben

          Sorry but I don’t believe TV news reporters one bit. They have a dog in this fight. They are enjoying and profiting of this while mess. We love in an era where there is absolutely no respect fr law or authority. When kids get in trouble these days, the parents side with the kids. When kids do bad in school, they blame the teacher. This is the mentality. I guarantee that the individual officer doesn’t give a crap about anything. Regarding this. They have a job to do and want to go home at the end of the day and see their family. Liberals just want a 60′s era revolution. They are so jealous of their hippy parents and want to believe that we are living in a military state. The police aren’t nearly as bad as they claim.

    • fincenmib

      Its pandering as in the word indulge, like when you tell your 4 year old, you are going to sit down and talk about it. The Governor and State Police said last nights curfew was going to be stated with bull horns over actions of restraint. Grieving is a candle vigil or a church or community meeting. Looting stores to grab liquor and get high or throwing fire bombs or shooting guns at moving targets, is not how civilized people grieve. Those who disagree, prove my point, that this is about something bigger than Mike Brown. If you say its about injustice, then try looking at black on black crimes. White on black or any other combination and the facts are straight that black crime in America is out of control and worst black on black, the numbers don’t lie. Where is the grieving for black children killed in Chicago? Two wrongs make a right or grieving means revenge, theft, robbing & assault!

  • E

    This is ridiculous. Wake up people the media is telling you how to think. The police need the heavy equipment because sometimes it is a war zone out there. Black people are killing black people in every city and nobody cares. Mike Brown robbed that store, that’s not normal and probably not the first time he has been aggressive and nobody cares. These things don’t happen everyday to normal law abiding citizens. The media is just trying to make sure that the black community never trust the police that way they can tear up their own community and kill each other wake up people.

    • Ben

      Exactly. That’s because liberals base everything on their emotions. They always root for what they think is the underdog. I was assaulted once in downtown olympia by a crazy man. There was a group of hippy liberal types. They observed it. They were shocked and mad at the guy. The minute I pushed back and retaliated, they got mad at me and turned on me. That’s how they react to every situation. They are completely insane and should be shipped to an island somewhere.

  • Matt

    Just like “E” said the media is out of control. Also, the ignorant people who allow the media to shape your opinion is out of control. All this talk of a police state and militarization of the police. I wouldn’t want to go deal with these freaks without being covered head to toe in armor and heavy guns. What do to expect? Maybe if they just used their hippy fairy dust to make people comply. Also, I haven’t actually been in contact with a cop in several years and then it was because I was speeding. I got a warning. None of my friends and family have either. All these cop haters I suspect have been arrested multiple times are not law abiding. You don’t want to be bothered by the police, don’t break the law.

  • Ben

    I like how the main witness and the main spokesperson in this case was seen on video with the dead dirtbag robbing a clerk. Liberals are such bleeding heart morons.

  • PB

    If I were in charge I would shoot all the looters It will bring some order to this country and teach these loosers they better explore a different option to do what they specialize in. ROBBERY Bums Democracy doesn’t work in America? Its loosing it’s majic touch.

    • rob

      I doubt you would want to kill some body over replaceable stuff .. and stuff just becomes old mans rubble
      any way
      in the end .. during a riot Policemen should not try to do stupid stuff !
      just because replaceable stuff is being stole by some thief..

      If the police can aim a weapon at the person they can aim a camera at him and the ones around him who may know him take the picture and arrest the person later.

      • Ripstax

        I live in Missouri for while came back to NYC. Everyone in MO thinks thing like this will only happen in cities Like NYC. I tell you one thing this is not a race issue. The police is out of control there. From personal witness. This is a pot ready to boil over Regardless of race. The media is feeding the race card. But stupid people are just playing there parts like fools. Give this country a reason to take more of your rights away. What better place in a small town in the middle of the country for all the other state to watch.

        • fincenmib

          You may be half right! I suspect the state Police are using License Plate Recognition Technology which became popular after the “Patriot Act”. Just like NSA, information gathering, but the events here, justify more of the same. The protest are not progress, they are evidence that monitoring citizen activity is needed. Every one on the ground driving there, may have a later knock on the door! An LPR can search a partial License Plate and match up make, model and color of a vehicle. I know cities that have used these for about 5 years. Just can’t believe the rioters can add 2 +2

  • rob

    The large fellow made him self look bad in the video . No one forced him to rob that store ..He sure did not appear to be a gentile giant to the fellow he bullied in the video.. perhaps bigger folks also look older than they are if your being bulled by them?

    now to the next incident
    makes a person knowing the first wonder if he tried and scared the office also ?
    yet if the police officer wanted to make sure he was dead no matter what– for fear This big guy would come after him on his route one day.. that still would be some type of murder 2nd degree perhaps .. I think we will just have to wait for the trial and hope real true facts come out rather than just speculating . right now it seems the officer did murder him not wanting him to ever scare him again..

    we really need to find out the real facts
    why the policeman shot him so many times and why .. was the big guy surrendering at the time.
    evidently the police person was not so concerned about the smaller fellow with the larger guy..

    • realitycheck

      Why would a cop try to pull a 6’3 300lb giant into his car window? Where was he going to put him if he got him in, in his pocket? When the first aspect makes no sense, we should be weary of it all.

  • Jay Beswick

    Its a race war, the flames being fanned by black activist and members of the press. Obama did not help! Actually Obama should get his fanny down there and try to defuse the situation or die trying, since he has added woe to this issue. On youtube blacks are saying they want to kill white people for being white, a kin to ISIS mind set of ethnic cleansing, justified and rooted in hatred. Blacks are killed by blacks 93% of the time. 26.1 blacks are killed per day by blacks. Blacks killed 65,000 whites in 10 years between 2000 and 2010. Its 10 X more likely that a black will kill a white person than vice-versa. For being only 14% of the population blacks commit 49% of the murders, all other ethnicities considered. Crime rates with blacks are 7.5 times higher than the white population. White’s don’t typically riot over another of their race being shot or arrested. While the black community denies a black cop ever shooting a white man, there are several cases, Robert Arnold a Orange, Texas Police Officer did shoot James Whitehead a decorated veteran. Justifying insurrection, rioting, looting and drive by shootings is cultural and accepted violence. Like Al Sharpton, this is a matter of relevance. The extremist black, not all, is empowered through violence, threat and intimidation. Respect and fear, go hand in hand. Law Enforcement is damned if they respond to harshly and Obama shares in that judgment. Historians who watched the L.A. riots in 1992 saw Bloods & Crips looting stores and new radical black activist emerging with the injustice theme. Todd Eskew burned and looted Korean businesses, then rebuilt his image as Najee Ali, later of Project Islamic Hope. Radicalism, mob rule and violence are a accepted means to change and with it, getting something for nothing. Out of Ferguson nothing good is coming. This is no longer about Michael Brown, he is only the excuse.

    • rob

      take it from this old white guy ..its not a race war .. a teen was killed and the facts just don’t add up correctly and the family wants to know why. as you would if your son or daughter was gunned down and you thought some thing was not right about that..
      How would you feel if all the police in your white neighbor hood were all black? They I think would feel the same as you ..Not sure which police persons liked blacks and which did not .. I would think the same if all blacks were policing me .. wondering which ones would treat me fairly..

      • fincenmib

        What do you do for a living Bob? I know many fine black American’s, but in my circle most are military or law enforcement. Do you realize several of those businesses being looted are black owned? In the LA Riots, most of the targeted businesses, were Korean owned. If the police should ignore the looters because the merchandise is replaceable, how about the black business owners? Should they use restraint? What do you know of race wars? This is not about Michael Brown, he is the excuse being used. Peaceful black demonstrators last night tried to stop the looting, they are the pure to cause, not looters covering their faces, stealing bottles of liquor. You need to take your old white guy cracker head ideas to Ferguson and get on the front lines. You can be part of the solution or part of the problem, but defending the looters vs those peaceful demonstrators, sets your bias too. I think we should wait for the investigation, before we criticize it! I have questions, but until the investigation is over, the jury is out. Ore you a Psychic?

      • realitycheck

        It is most definitely a race war. Blacks have been attacking whites at alarming rates over the last few years but no one pays attention. The media only reports things to keep it going. The media is anti white. They are inciting violence by cherry picking stories and sharpton, Jackson, holder, and Obama, take part in it. They are encouraging a war between black and white. Which I honestly d not understand, because whites out number them by a lot and many in jail. Plus whites have multiple members in house holds trained to shoot, with the guns legally obtained. So it seems they may be trying to create genocide on us, but the reverse will happen. If you don’t see it, You are naive. Blacks are warning us daily, that our time is coming.

  • NickyVirt

    Thank you for the display of the Lack of Education of the Missouri Population. This is one State I will not Travel too. And I’m hoping you keep the wild Animals on your state. Don’t share the res t of the world your your lack of Education.

  • David Villa

    The President is a Moron! He fueled the fire again lime always. Doesn’t he have enough to do like keep Isis off are borders etc. Noooo he makes comments every time a black person that gets killed makes the news! What about the white kid that got killed from Australia by the hands of two black kids that just wanted to kill someone?!! Nope , nothing were was the big shit stir’er Al Sharpton for that kid?? Why didn’t the President even apologize to the country? Oh I know why because white people don’t act like fools. Blacks only riot when it involves a white person. They careless when it’s a black on black or Chicago would been burnt down years ago. Also it amazed me how they kept calling the guy in Florida white. Lol he looked Mexican to me. Point is President sucks he needs do his job.. But, he sucks doing that as we’ll. buy more bullets!

  • John

    Let us not forget to give thanks to the North. We southerners had this figured out years ago until they stuck their nose in it.

  • $treet$

    This should be a wake up call to those cops itchin’ to bag their first kill that they to can end up on the hot seat.
    Murder is murder.
    Stop killing Americans.

  • $treet$

    It’s amazing all of the agendas this boys killing serves.
    “Plenty bad preachers for the devil to stoke” ~Iron maiden

  • Jeff

    What if a group of white kids ran around knocking out old black people for fun? What would happen? I really wish white people would get together like this every time one of those animals did something heinous to us.

  • fincenmib

    Skip, you are skipping the facts! From DOJ & The FBI
    Statists from DOJ & the FBI are clear! 93% of blacks are killed by blacks. 26.1 blacks are killed daily in the U.S. by other blacks, it changes slightly year to year. Blacks killed 65,000 whites between the year 2000 to 2010. Homicides in the U.S. show black committed 49% vs all other ethnicities or white population. The total % of blacks are roughly 14% of U.S. population equates to a white victim is 10 times more likely to be killed by a black perp. The crime rate for black males is consistently 7.5 times higher, than white male the same age. These are criminal statistics and come from a cultural mentality that approves violence and civil disobedience. Michael Brown is a vehicle or movement to stand behind, building his image, before facts were known. Destroying their own neighborhood has more to do with social class and not being invested in their own community. Like Al Sharpton, the black community has the need to be relevant and does so through violence, its a matter of empowerment! LA Riots a good example and many businesses did not return or rebuild. If State police are Automatic License Plate Reader technology, those in Ferguson may not be invisible, when the dust clears. Such support the “patriot act” and abstractly justify what may follow.

  • Ginger

    You cant surmise the officer & say he shot the suspect just because he was black
    The officer is stationed in a predomiinitly black neighborhood so I dont think he would consider working amongst black people if he despised them Cops risk their lives everday for ciitizens The issue is why he shot a suspect & the officer will be investigated by The Internal Affairs

    • fincenmib

      Ferguson is 67% black and 29% white, 4% other. It’s not likely the officer is racist, with no other misconduct in 6 years. Watching the free for all in the streets and watching Mike Brown bully the store clerk, suggests that words were exchanged that none of us have knowledge of. Again, not to say there is any evidence that Mike should of been shot, but then the idea of hanging the officer before an investigation is complete, suggests that being black or white holds 2 views of America. Its statistically correct that a white victim is 10 X more likely to be injured by a young black male, these come from DOJ case report stats. Where I use to live in 2012, Reed Keith was murdered by a black youth age 24 in a armed burglary. The white and ethnic community held a candle vigil for him and had 10 minutes of silence. Keith’s daughter offered sympathy for the shooters family losing a son as she had lost her father. Keith was murdered because he did not lay flat on the ground as the customers had. Mr. Keith was pleading for his customers when he was shot several times. Then the slur followed as the black male tells the dead man, YOU DIDN’T THINK I WOULD SHOOT YOUR ASS! All across America this story gets repeated in the news. 26.1 Blacks kill other Blacks daily. Close to 9,000 a year. From 2000 to 2010 blacks killed 65,000 whites. If you are black, you have a 93% chance of being a victim of your own race. But her is the disconnect, “don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind is already made up”. A wise man would wait for the investigation to be completed, but a racist from either side will defend their position with out facts or ignoring them. More rioters shot by black looters, how do you spin this an the fault of others?

  • JACQUE

    I don’t know how all this got out of hand. The violence needs to stop. There is no need for all this. Someone lost a their life. Not a police officer or a regular person walking the street has the right to shoot to KILL! this is an over kill no matter what. Alot of cops out here are doing their job, but some take it out of hand and personal. This was a kid, how can a grown adult with police training be scared for his life and shoot to kill when this kid was unarmed? if he is that scared of a kid than he should not be a police officer!! This was a coward thing to do!! and the worse part is that these cops get away with it! why? because they are part of the justice system and they will always get backed up no matter what! And infact this is a hate crime and it is a racial crime. Why the hell does this happen to minorities? we are hearing about this crime because it’s been on the news but waht about all the other crimes that happen that are not on the news? People are tiered of being put down and treated like crap! and yes there is better ways to protest and be heard, I do not agree with all the violence and distruction of their own neighborhoods. I also don’t agree with the people talking bad about how all these minorities are the bad people here! Everytime I watch the news there is a white criminal on there! what makes it even worse is that alot of those stories are about children getting raped,kidnaped, assulted neglected, robbing, drugs (meth), having their children left in hot cars, identity theft, you name it. So, don’t put down minorities because white people are as bad if not even worse. And I am not talking about all whites, I’m talking about the ignorant white people that cant let go of hitler times and racial ignorance,..

  • NickyVirt

    This is not about a kid getting shot. This is about a State of M.O. Not control ing your State. There should have been Hundreds if People that should have been shot. You Can Not allowed.Your Street to betake over and Rioting and Distorting business

  • rob

    no you don’t Courtney . I bet you really wish every one would treat each other with more respect and more kindly.. so this sort of thing would not happen again .