A flying bottle set off a spasm of chaos on a night of largely peaceful protests in the Missouri town where unarmed black 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot. Peaceful protesters linked arms, screaming and pleading for those on the streets of Ferguson to go home. "Not tonight, not tonight" they begged, as police chased into the crowd. Several people were seen in handcuffs after the brief melee, with police forming long lines to move crowds back and ordering protesters to disperse. Many on the street took up the now-familiar chant: "Hands up, don't shoot." The parking lot of the local McDonald's became a flashpoint as police charged into the gathered crowd.
Before midnight, around 200 people had marched without incident for two hours — spurring hopes the evening would not descend into the violence that has gripped Ferguson since Brown was shot on Aug. 9. Seventy-eight people were arrested Monday night in Ferguson, and police said they came under "heavy gunfire." Wednesday's heightened tensions came hours before Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to visit and before prosecutors plan to begin presenting evidence in Brown's shooting to a St. Louis County grand jury Wednesday.
— Rick Brown and Cassandra Vinograd