Under the shadow of a state of emergency declaration in St. Louis County, protesters mobilized yesterday for a choreographed day of civil disobedience, shutting down a key commuter artery and staging demonstrations downtown, in the county seat of Clayton and in Ferguson, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. More than 100 people were arrested as the protests tied to the year-ago shooting of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer drew activists from across the nation. An additional 23 people were arrested last night and early today after police used pepper spray to clear West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson. Police said some in the crowd of protesters threw rocks and frozen water bottles at officers.
Protesters yesterday in St. Louis were demanding the dissolution of the Ferguson Police Department. St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger declared a state of emergency and turned oversight of the situation over to St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar after at least three shooting incidents overnight Sunday amid the demonstrations. Tyrone Harris, 18, a friend of Brown, was critically wounded in an exchange of gunfire with police Sunday night.