Ferguson, MO, United States (4E) – Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and ordered a midnight to 5 a.m. curfew in Ferguson on Saturday to prevent clashes between protesters and police and looting of local shops.
Nixon announced the curfew in a press conference attended by residents demanding justice for the killing of black local, Michael Brown, 18, by white patrolman, Darren Wilson, 28, 0n Aug. 9.
Missouri Highway Patrol (MHP) Capt. Ronald S. Johnson was tasked to enforce the curfew. He promised the enforcement would be softer than Ferguson police department’s tactic by not using tear gas and talking with protesters.
Some protesters defied the curfew on Saturday midnight but there was no report of clashes and looting and no one was reported arrested.
The curfew order came as protesters battled police near Ferguson Market and Liquor, where Brown was shot dead, midnight on Friday. Authorities claim those who started the clashes were not locals.
The protest started along West Florissant with demonstrators driving to parking lots, blaring horns and riding on the hoods and roofs of cars. The crowd then grew younger, louder and aggressive.
At least two armored trucks pulled up, one officer fired tear gas and three officers were hurt, Johnson said. A line of police in full body armor and carrying shields figured in a standoff along West Florissant for an hour as protesters refused to leave the area.
Some stores were ransacked by looters as MHP officers were told to stand down. Gabe Crocker, president of the county’s police union, and businessmen criticized the move.
Friday’s clashes was the fourth since Brown’s killing prompting Nixon to transfer the peacekeeping task from Ferguson police to MHP.
Meanwhile, the investigation of Brown’s death continues with 40 agents from the FBI participating. Agents were asking neighbors in the Canfield Green apartment complex, where Brown was killed, if they saw the killing.
The Justice Department said Sunday it will perform its own autopsy on the body of Brown as part of its independent investigation and on the request of his family.
A preliminary autopsy revealed that Brown was shot multiple times. Ferguson police said there was a struggle between Brown and Wilson inside the latter’s patrol car before the shooting happened. Witnesses said Brown raised his arm in surrender and was unarmed but the officer still shot him.
The police released a video of Brown roughing up a shop owner just before his fatal confrontation with Wilson. The police said the store was robbed and Brown was a suspect.