Two shot, 31 arrested overnight in Ferguson

posted at 8:01 am on August 19, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

The removal of the curfew by Gov. Jay Nixon and the arrival of the National Guard didn’t improve matters in Ferguson overnight. Police deployed teargas and arrested 31 people as protestors filled the streets, while two people were shot — although not by police. According to Captain Ron Johnson, who has been in command on the ground, police never fired a shot, even though they were under “heavy fire” during the night:

“What had begun as a calm evening and a standoff between cops and some demonstrators … turned in a flash, and smoke bombs and tear gas were thrown at the crowds to disperse the crowd,” she said. “The crowd started rushing back. I happened to see the smoke bombs or tear gas being thrown in both directions because some of the demonstrators actually picked up what was thrown at them and threw them back at police.”

Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol, who is in charge of security in Ferguson, said officers didn’t fire a single bullet “despite coming under heavy attack.” He said four St. Louis County police officers were hit by rocks and bottles and sustained injury. He said “criminals” in the crowd fired shots and threw Molotov cocktails at officers.

“These criminal acts came from a tiny minority of lawbreakers,” Johnson said. “But anyone who has been at these protests understands that there is a dangerous dynamic in the night. It allows a small number of violent agitators to hide in the crowd and then attempt to create chaos.”

As of 2 a.m. Tuesday, 31 people had been arrested, some of whom came as far away as new York and California, Johnson said. Police also said two people were shot, but police officers weren’t involved in those incidents, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

The Post-Dispatch also reported on the weapons confiscated by police during the night, which included a couple of handguns and a Molotov cocktail. Johnson asked Ferguson residents to restrict their protests to daylight hours so that police could deal with the “violent agitators” from outside the community who are exploiting the situation:

Johnson said the weapons were confiscated from “violent agitators” who were using other peaceful protests as “cover” to cause conflicts with police.

“This nation is watching each and every one of us,” said Johnson, who was visibly angry and emotional during the news conference. “I am not going to let the criminals that have come here from across this country, or live in this neighborhood, define this community.”

He had a few words for reporters, too, who had a few words in return:

Johnson also lectured reporters at the scene, telling them they were interfering with police and putting themselves in danger by failing to immediately clear areas when asked to by officers. He also implored reporters to “not glamorize the acts of criminals.”

Some reporters at the news conference pushed back, saying he was infringing on their ability to do their jobs by asking them to stay separate from protesters.

The National Guard troops that arrived in Ferguson yesterday did not take part in the police effort last night. The Washington Post’s Emily Badger wonders whether they’ve become obsolete in the era of a more militarized police presence:

When the National Guard arrived in Oxford, in Little Rock, in DetroitLos Angeles and New Orleans, its presence and the message that traveled with it was instantly clear.

“Whether it was the Vietnam riots, the Civil Rights era, it made an impression when the National Guard showed up,” says Michael D. Doubler, a historian and retired Army officer who has written a definitive history of the National Guard. “They were different. They had different capabilities. They looked different.”

Today, as the Missouri National Guard deploys to the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, where protesters and police have clashed nightly since the shooting last week of an unarmed black teen by a white officer, the distinctions are less apparent. This assignment, requested early Monday by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D), sits squarely within the traditional mission of the National Guard., even as the public has come to better recognize this part-time force for its full-time roles in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The domestic environment that the Guard enters in Ferguson, though, has changed. The local police now look an awful lot more like the military. And the situation on the ground already resembles a conflict in the late stages of law enforcement escalation. If the National Guard is supposed to bring the power, equipment and gravity of the military, it looks as if it’s already there.

“When the National Guard shows up in this domestic role, it is a sign to people in the local community that a higher authority is exerting its power here, whether it be the governor or the president, and hopefully now we’re going to get all this sorted out. That’s a very important thing,” Doubler says. “I hope we haven’t lost that.”

The difference is the authority level more than the heightened capabilities. The National Guard’s thunder may have been partially stolen by the previous arrival of the Missouri Highway Patrol, which also operates under the authority of the governor. The issue in both cases was to assert a higher authority than the city and county levels, which had lost the confidence of local residents. There is still plenty of value in that escalation, but only insofar as local residents have confidence in the governor to restore order and justice in all directions.

Unfortunately,that doesn’t appear to be the case so far, perhaps in no small part because it may not be locals who are causing the problems. Until they can end the magnet that’s attracting agitators from around the country to exploit the situation and perpetuate it for their own ends, the actual people of Ferguson will be in for a long nightmare, and the longer it goes the less confidence they will have in law enforcement at any level.


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I know first hand that SWAT Corpse in my area have M16′s and receive no special training in them, other than getting some range practice.

ConstantineXI on August 19, 2014 at 9:35 AM

You seem to think the M16 is some complex piece of hardware. It’s not. It’s a semi-automatic (one trigger squeeze – one round) rifle that has automatic capabilities. I used an M16 in the service. First time I had ever held a rifle and qualified as a marksman (one step above qualifying). It’s not rocket science. If someone can shoot a rifle, he/she can shoot an M16. Range practice is all you need.

Mitoch55 on August 19, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Have to agree more with Mitoch on this specific point.
My wife has shaky hands and “granny glasses” and she can put shots on target at 50 yards with her Colt AR-15 using iron sites, and she has shot less than 100 rounds total out of it.
Although I’m prior military (AF), I only handled an M-16 once – in basic training in 1979, and I can get a 3 to 5 inch grouping at 100 yards with my Windham Weaponry AR-15 with a red dot scope/sight.
Any cop with a decent amount of weapons training, especially if he’s also a hunter, could easily handle an M-16 or AR-15 – they really are easy to use.

dentarthurdent on August 19, 2014 at 11:53 AM

The hooligans once again pillaged over night, destroyed and looted stores, and the media are all in Holder’s racist azz.

Faux showed a 16 year old white teen, killed by 3 black thugs, silence.

Chicago, over 23 killed and hurt over the weekend, silence.

The Australian student, killed by black thugs, for the heck of it, silence.

All you hear from Holder “the looting video was released against my wishes”. Go to Hell, you fool and thug.

I hope the media all die of Ebola in Holder’s Ebola azz. Suffocate in there, for good.

There is NO animal thuggish enough to compare the thugs and Holder to.

Schadenfreude on August 19, 2014 at 11:59 AM

It seems that these protesters are not schieving their diversity targets.

Galtian on August 19, 2014 at 11:59 AM

How do the families of all the other (dead) kids, black, white, Latino, feel, by obama/Holder giving all the attention to one black thug?

Schadenfreude on August 19, 2014 at 11:59 AM

*achieving

Galtian on August 19, 2014 at 12:00 PM

the actual people of Ferguson will be in for a long nightmare

Let’s not forget all the people in the other areas around St Louis, too, Ed. It isn’t just the folks in Ferguson dealing with a nightmare, but the folks in University City and St Ann and Florissant and all the other suburbs of Greater St Louis.

GWB on August 19, 2014 at 12:10 PM

You seem to think the M16 is some complex piece of hardware. It’s not. It’s a semi-automatic (one trigger squeeze – one round) rifle that has automatic capabilities. I used an M16 in the service. First time I had ever held a rifle and qualified as a marksman (one step above qualifying). It’s not rocket science. If someone can shoot a rifle, he/she can shoot an M16. Range practice is all you need.

Mitoch55 on August 19, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Not to be too pedantic, but the original M16 had semi and full auto. Later revisions (A1, A2, A3, A4) usually have semi and 3-round-burst, but can be switched to auto with an alternate trigger group.

The original M16 was a disaster in the Vietnam War because they were thrown at the troops without any training and every one used them in full auto. Statistics estimate that 1 out of every 25,000 rounds of 5.56 in Vietnam actually hit it’s intended target. (Sorry, I don’t know where anyone can find this, I learned it in Armorer’s School in the Army.)

The Marine Corps was the first branch to adopt the A2 because of it’s original 3-round-burst having determined it was the best mix of firepower and accuracy. The M249 SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon) replaced the auto firepower of the original M16. Special units (Recon, SEALS, etc.) used the full auto variants until the M4A1 (full auto variant of the M4) replaced them.

I’ve never fired a full-auto M16 (plenty with the M249 and M60), but I did plenty of training with a 3-round-burst A2. It’s not even close to firing semi at a range target. If you aim at someone’s crotch at 25-yards, the third round is hitting their head. So yes, special training is required – even more so if the police are using a full auto trigger group.

The M4, on the other hand, with it’s shorter barrel and better designed trigger group is much easier to manage (so I’ve been told.)

UnstChem on August 19, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Any cop with a decent amount of weapons training,

dentarthurdent on August 19, 2014 at 11:53 AM

That might be an issue, however. Many departments spend almost no money on adequate range time or “tactical” training for their police.

GWB on August 19, 2014 at 12:12 PM

The rioters are about as afraid of the cops as the Taliban are of the president.

Not much.

PattyJ on August 19, 2014 at 12:16 PM

I’ve noticed that the law abiding gun owners are not the one’s shooting people. It’s the criminals who have the guns illegally who are doing the shooting. It seems background checks aren’t helping in this situation.

iamsaved on August 19, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Is Ferguson slated to receive Guatamalan newbies? Pass the pop corn.

catsmeow on August 19, 2014 at 12:36 PM

That might be an issue, however. Many departments spend almost no money on adequate range time or “tactical” training for their police.

GWB on August 19, 2014 at 12:12 PM

That’s very true as well. A “decent amount” of training is very much relative to any department’s budget – and we see quite often in the news just how poor some cops’ shooting skills are.
However, my main point was to that the AR-15 or a current model M-16 are not really that difficult to use.
If my wife can do it, most cops with some level of firearm training should also be able to.

dentarthurdent on August 19, 2014 at 12:42 PM

Is Ferguson slated to receive Guatamalan newbies? Pass the pop corn.

catsmeow on August 19, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Why would they ship our new “children” to what is undoubtedly already a solidly blue voting district?

TarasBulbous on August 19, 2014 at 12:53 PM

You seem to think the M16 is some complex piece of hardware. It’s not. It’s a semi-automatic (one trigger squeeze – one round) rifle that has automatic capabilities. I used an M16 in the service. First time I had ever held a rifle and qualified as a marksman (one step above qualifying). It’s not rocket science. If someone can shoot a rifle, he/she can shoot an M16. Range practice is all you need.

Mitoch55 on August 19, 2014 at 11:23 AM

…I’ve never fired a full-auto M16 (plenty with the M249 and M60), but I did plenty of training with a 3-round-burst A2. It’s not even close to firing semi at a range target. If you aim at someone’s crotch at 25-yards, the third round is hitting their head. So yes, special training is required – even more so if the police are using a full auto trigger group.

The M4, on the other hand, with it’s shorter barrel and better designed trigger group is much easier to manage (so I’ve been told.)

UnstChem on August 19, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Miss my last sentence?

Mitoch55 on August 19, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Miss my last sentence?

Mitoch55 on August 19, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Nope.

A typical range isn’t enough. It doesn’t provide you with anything other than a foundation of basic marksman skills.

If you’re a coach of a baseball team and all you have your players do is throw baseballs back and forth at 25 yards during practice, they’ll get really good at throwing a baseball accurately from a single, stationary position to a stationary target. But they’ll be worthless in an actual game.

UnstChem on August 19, 2014 at 1:22 PM

Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol, who is in charge of security in Ferguson, said officers didn’t fire a single bullet “despite coming under heavy attack.”

Typical cop lie. If he truly wanted to de-escalate this he would disarm the cops and put them on the street with their batons and shields and riot helmets. Once people begin to see that the police are no longer a deadly threat to them, it might begin to calm things down.

They also need to charge Wilson with murder of an unarmed child and put him in jail.

earlgrey on August 19, 2014 at 1:24 PM

UnstChem on August 19, 2014 at 1:22 PM

When it comes down to it, the main thing typical range practice accomplishes is to keep you from killing yourself and anyone behind you when handling a firearm.

It certainly doesn’t provide you help in choosing which people in front of you are safe.

UnstChem on August 19, 2014 at 1:54 PM

They also need to charge Wilson with murder of an unarmed child and put him in jail.

earlgrey on August 19, 2014 at 1:24 PM

Having trouble understanding the current events of the real world?

dentarthurdent on August 19, 2014 at 2:05 PM

They also need to charge Wilson with murder of an unarmed child and put him in jail.

earlgrey on August 19, 2014 at 1:24 PM

You’re really not helpful at all.

GWB on August 19, 2014 at 2:08 PM

earlgrey on August 19, 2014 at 1:24 PM

You’re a walking idiot.

Before Star Trek: The Next Generation, nobody knew of, or drank Earl Grey Tea. Since then, it’s become very popular, especially among Trekkies.

Since you choose that as your moniker, I can only assume you are either a Trekkie, or come close to being an idol-worshiper of the franchise.

The whole mission and premise of Star Trek was to promote peace between intelligent species who are different from each other. One of the main tenets of that overriding philosophy is that everyone of any species who was involved in a treaty agreement with the Federation was they rights to a fair trial or review and were considered innocent until proven otherwise.

How many episodes portrayed a member of any of the Enterprise officers over the years valiantly defending someone of a difference race who they considered a scumbag?

You’re a disgrace to your own values.

DISCLAIMER/FULL DISCLOSURE: I would never be caught dead wearing a piece Star Trek memorabilia or at a convention. However, I own everything from ST:TNG on DVD. I’ve also watched all episodes of DS9 and Voyager (I ignored the Captain.)

UnstChem on August 19, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Before Star Trek: The Next Generation, nobody knew of, or drank Earl Grey Tea.

UnstChem on August 19, 2014 at 2:24 PM

WHOAHHHHHHH!!!!! Holdthem horses, buster! I’ve been drinking earl grey tea since before there was a ST:TNG. (And your ownership of all things ST:TNG brings your judgment seriously into question, anyway. ;) )

GWB on August 19, 2014 at 2:46 PM

They also need to charge Wilson with murder of an unarmed child and put him in jail.

earlgrey on August 19, 2014 at 1:24 PM

That’s some seriously weak trolltea right there.

Midas on August 19, 2014 at 3:35 PM

HotAir won’t cover the unprecedented blockage of comments by CNN and other news sources. What use are you then? A blog like this should have an impact, not just be a forum to divert what people think about key issues

AmericaDS1234 on August 19, 2014 at 3:46 PM

WHOAHHHHHHH!!!!! Holdthem horses, buster! I’ve been drinking earl grey tea since before there was a ST:TNG. (And your ownership of all things ST:TNG brings your judgment seriously into question, anyway. ;) )

GWB on August 19, 2014 at 2:46 PM

You prove my point! You have been drinking earl grey tea all your life, yet when have you ever thought to associate yourself with it or it’s name?

As for being a ST:TNG fan, not once in my life have I ever recommended that anyone else on the face of the planet watch it. I thought my oldest brother was a nerd for liking the original Star Trek growing up. I was a drama geek in high school (have even been in some local musicals recently) and absolutely loved Patrick Stewart in the role Jean Luc Picard. I also kind of had a man crush on Jonathan Frakes, especially when he grew a beard. Add in that I’m a Sci-Fi fan and well … I really liked ST:TNG on its merits.

On the flip-side, I watched the first few episodes of Stargate and was quite bored with it.

UnstChem on August 19, 2014 at 6:10 PM

Anybody know how I can send my support to Captain Ron Johnson?

SC.Charlie on August 19, 2014 at 8:15 PM

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