The Ferguson, Mo., police department said Wednesday that those protesting after the police shooting of an African-American teen should disperse by dusk because “those who wish to co-opt peaceful protests and turn them into violent demonstrations have been able to do so over the past several days in the evening hours.”
Since Sunday evening, protests over the police shooting have seen officers shooting tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowd. There have also been reports of gunshots fired at police. Brown was shot this Saturday during a confrontation with police. Local and federal authorities are investigating the shooting.
“The city of Ferguson mourns the loss of Michael Brown’s life that occurred this past Saturday,” the department said Wednesday. “We understand members of our community, and those nationwide, are grieving with us. We have worked diligently to provide an opportunity for our residents to both grieve and voice frustration through prayer vigils and peaceful protests.”
“We ask that any groups wishing to assemble in prayer or in protest do so only during daylight hours in an organized and respectful manner,” the department said. “We further ask all those wishing to demonstrate or assemble to disperse well before the evening hours to ensure the safety of the participants and the safety of our community.”
“Unfortunately, those who wish to co-opt peaceful protests and turn them into violent demonstrations have been able to do so over the past several days during the evening hours,” it continued. “These events are not indicative of the City of Ferguson or its residents.”
The full statement is below.
— Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) August 13, 2014