About 200 protesters gathered near Saint Louis University early Saturday morning as demonstrations over Michael Brown's death and other police shootings in Missouri spread. The protesters gathered on the south side of the university and tried to march down the Main Street, but were prevented by riot police and an armored swat vehicle. The university's president Fred Pestello sought to reassure the university community. "Our campus is a safe place. But we are very aware that there are unprecedented events taking place, and we know we must be prepared for immediate response, if needed," he said in a statement released late Friday.
Organizers earlier urged hundreds of participants to avoid arrest so that they could return for a weekend of demonstrations on Friday — two months after a police officer fatally shot Brown, a black unarmed teenager, in nearby Ferguson. Demonstrators demanded that a special prosecutor take over the Michael Brown case, and said they don’t believe Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch is able to fairly handle the matter because of his close ties to police. More than 115,000 people signed an online petition calling for a special prosecutor.