Demonstrators protesting the death of Ferguson, Mo., teen Michael Brown failed in their bid to shut down rush-hour traffic on Interstate 70 yesterday in the St. Louis suburbs but claimed success for disrupting traffic for hours on a major St. Louis County artery, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Before a thunderstorm dispersed the remnants of protesters that at one point approached 150 people, clashes with police had resulted in 32 charged with unlawful assembly and four with assault on law enforcement officers. No one was injured during the nearly three hour stand-off with authorities.
Missouri State Highway Patrol spokesman Al Nothum reported that state police, St. Louis County and St. Louis City police officers were pelted with bricks, rocks, concrete chunks, filled plastic water bottles and glass bottles. “People didn't get to shut the interstate down, so I think we can call it a success,” Nothum said. The bid to close down I-70 failed after police, some in riot helmets, sealed off some exit and entrance ramps. Organizer Eric Vickers said the protest succeeded even though demonstrators didn't meet their objective. The police “tied up traffic for us,” Vickers said. “So we accomplished our aim of bringing attention to this issue.”