Missouri's governor ordered the National Guard onto the streets of Ferguson early Monday after another night of violence following the shooting of an unarmed black teen by police in the St. Louis suburb. "Tonight, a day of hope, prayers, and peaceful protests was marred by the violent criminal acts of an organized and growing number of individuals, many from outside the community and state, whose actions are putting the residents and businesses of Ferguson at risk," Gov. Jay Nixon said in a statement. "Given these deliberate, coordinated and intensifying violent attacks on lives and property in Ferguson, I am directing the highly capable men and women of the Missouri National Guard to assist ... in restoring peace and order to this community.”
The St. Louis suburb has been roiled by unrest following the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown last weekend. Earlier, the Highway Patrol captain appointed to oversee security in Ferguson defended using tear gas as part of the police response violence which erupted Sunday night. Capt. Ron Johnson said law enforcement "had to act to protect lives and property" in the hours before a state-imposed curfew that had been due to take effect at midnight local time. Shooting was reported at 8:25 p.m. local time (9:25 p.m. ET), Johnson said. Shots were later fired at police, Molotov cocktails were hurled at officers and makeshift barricades set up, he added. Johnson said police "deployed tear gas in an attempt to disperse the crowd." Looters also targeted a Domino's Pizza outlet, a Family Dollar store, an auto-parts retailer and a self-storage business. Employees of a McDonald's restaurant hid in a storage room after it was "overrun" by a large crowd. At least two people were injured amid the chaos but no officers were injured, Johnson said. At least seven arrests were made by early Monday. Authorities also announced that schools in Ferguson would be closed on Monday.
- Jason Cumming and Daniel Arkin
First published August 17 2014, 11:43 PM