143 people arrested as State of Emergency declared in Ferguson

'Racism still lives here'

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St Louis County police arrested 143 people in Ferguson, Missouri on Monday as protesters peacefully marched for a fourth consecutive night.

The demonstrations came during the one year anniversary of Michael Brown's death, the unarmed, black 18-year-old who was fatally shot by a white police officer Darren Wilson.

Twenty-three people were arrested overnight with 64 arrested during protesters who shut down traffic on I-70. In an earlier statement, officials said 57 were arrested at the federal courthouse.

Police first declared the night time demonstrations unlawful around 10pm local time — leading to dozens of overnight arrests.

They claimed to only arrest people who were throwing glass and frozen bottles at police. They also sought out people in crowds whom they believed were carrying weapons — leading to dozens of overnight arrests.

Earlier, St Louis County Executive Steve Stenger issued a State of Emergency to prevent any violence throughout the county.

"The recent acts of violence will not be tolerated in a community that has worked so tirelessly over the last year to rebuild and become stronger."

The decision gave St Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar responsibility over police management in the City of Ferguson and its surrounding areas.

"Chief Belmar shall exercise all powers and duties necessary to preserve order, prevent crimes, and protect the life and property of our citizens."

As the decision was announced, peaceful demonstrations continued on Monday afternoon, however, 57 people were arrested as they jumped the fence in front of the Thomas F. Eagleton US Courthouse in downtown St Louis.

Among those arrested were Black Lives Matter protesters DeRay McKeeson and Johnetta Elzie as well as author Dr Cornel West.

US Attorney's Office spokeswoman told the Huffington Post's Ryan J. Reilly that the arrested demonstrators would receive summons, court dates, a potential $125 trespassing fine and would be released from custody this afternoon.

The arrests come after violence broke out on Sunday night in Ferguson which left several wounded and some business damaged. Tyrone Harris Jr, 18, is in a critical condition at a local hospital after police said they returned fire in a shootout. The teen is charged on 4 counts of 1st degree assault on a police officer.


For more on this story:

Three shot in Ferguson, one by police, two by drive-by shooter, on anniversary of Michael Brown's death

Washington Post and Huffington Post reporters charged for covering last year's protests in Ferguson