Only six people were arrested in Ferguson, Missouri, overnight as fewer "agitators and criminals" attended protests in the wake of the fatal police shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, police said. Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, who is in charge of security in the St. Louis suburb, said early Thursday that "crowds were smaller and they were calm."
A day earlier, 47 people had been arrested by 2 a.m. local time (3 a.m. ET), he added. Speaking at an early-morning press conference, Johnson said: "The trend was good. There were no Molotov cocktails, no fires, no shooting. We did not seize a single handgun. There were no confrontations." The six people arrested face charges including failure to disperse and disturbing the peace. "We saw a different crowd that came out tonight," Johnson added. "We didn't have as many criminals and agitators in the crowd." Johnson also praised the city's clergy for "their calming words, their patience and their ability to express what's right to the people of this community." When asked whether the number of police and National Guard troops deployed on the city's streets would be scaled back, Johnson replied: "We'll continue to evaluate the situation."
- Jason Cumming
First published August 20 2014, 11:59 PM