Authorities arrested multiple protesters who tried to block part of a major highway Wednesday near the St. Louis suburb where unarmed black teen Michael Brown was fatally shot by a white police officer. The planned traffic shutdown near North Hanley Road was scuttled after a wall of police officers in riot gear barred demonstrators from walking onto Interstate 70 along North Hanley Road, near Ferguson, Missouri. Police officers with the city and county, along with the Missouri Highway Patrol, told roughly 150 demonstrators to stay off a road near the highway on-ramp, and those who refused were arrested.
The demonstration's organizers, the Justice for Michael Brown Leadership Coalition, had said they wanted to bring rush hour traffic on I-70 to a standstill in an act of civil disobedience "and to ensure Ferguson is not forgotten," the group said in a release. The Missouri State Highway Patrol and city and county police department had said they plan to "enforce the law and ensure public safety" at the shutdown. A similar protest was planned on the day of Brown's funeral, but it was canceled at his family's request.
Protesters spoke out Tuesday night at Ferguson's first city council meeting since the shooting. Council members were greeted with anger and warnings of voter retribution at the ballot box.