(FERGUSON, Mo.) — About 23 people were arrested in Ferguson, Missouri on Monday night into Tuesday morning during the fourth day of demonstrations taking place on and around the one-year anniversary of the shooting death of unarmed teen Michael Brown at the hands of a Ferguson police officer.
Unlike early Monday morning when police reported gunshots fired and an officer-involved shooting, the St. Louis County Police Department says there were no shootings, shots fired, burglaries, lootings or reports of property damage overnight into Tuesday. Police made arrests after protesters blocked a traffic lane on West Florissant Avenue. Officers with bullhorns directed protesters to clear the roadway, and others in riot gear forced people out of the street.
One officer was reportedly hit in the chest with a small chunk of concrete, but was uninjured thanks to his protective vest.
Other items, including frozen water bottles and rocks were thrown at officers, the SLCPD added.
At one point, an officer fired pepper spray into a crowd of people. It wasn’t clear how many people were hit or why the pepper spray was used.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar spoke with protest leaders several times throughout the night, hoping to deescalate the tension, police said.
St. Louis County remains under a state of emergency, which was declared Monday. The state of emergency follows an outbreak of violence in Ferguson, including a police-involved shooting Sunday night that left a man in critical condition.
Brown was fatally shot by officer Darren Wilson on August 9, 2014. Protests and a national discussion on race relations and policing followed in the wake of both his death and the eventual decision not to charge Wilson in the shooting.
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