Issues

Police Kick Ferguson Protesters Out Of Council Meeting To Protect Darren Wilson Supporter

Demonstrators were escorted by police out of an open St. Louis County Council meeting on Tuesday night after a woman verbally expressed support for Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown on August 9th. Residents and activists from Ferguson and elsewhere attended the meeting and spoke directly to the council members regarding not just the issues of police brutality and intimidation, but also about the lack of focus by the county on homelessness. A noted Darren Wilson supporter, who has shown up in the past at other Mike Brown demonstrations (typically in Clayton), was at the meeting along with two friends.

After a number of testimonies by people discussing their issues with the police and racial disparity, the woman shouted out, “I support the police! I support the police!” and “We support Darren Wilson!” This led to the protesters chanting, “If we don’t get it, shut it down!” Police on the scene then moved in and asked the protesters to leave the meeting. The Wilson supporters were allowed to remain. As the protesters were leaving, the woman continued chanting her support for Wilson and the police.

 


 

 


Of course, things did not just end there. While the police demanded that the protesters leave, they went over and casually spoke to the Wilson supporter, allowing her to stay until the end of the meeting. Per Sarah Kendzior, a writer for Al Jazeera English who attended the meeting, the supporter and her friends were also allowed to speak with the council members privately after the meeting. One activist, Charles Wade, stayed in the meeting, which was nearing its end. He stated that about a dozen police officers rushed him when he asked why everyone wasn’t being asked to leave if the meeting was over. Wade and another person were then escorted out of the building by a number of officers.  

 


 

 


After kicking Wade out of the meeting and locking the doors of the building, a number of officers escorted the Wilson supporter to her car. They said that they were doing this because she was concerned for her safety. As Wade and others pointed out, anyone that entered the meeting was patted down and searched with a metal detector.


After these events, the police officers locked the building doors, claiming it is because the building actually closes at 6 PM local time. Apparently, the one black officer in the group tried to have a calm conversation with the protesters but was told by the other officers to get back inside and lock the door. The irony of the police closing ranks all for the sake of protecting one person was not lost on Wade.

 

The council meeting convened at the same time as a couple of other events that protesters, activists, leaders and journalists were attending. In Ferguson, a town hall meeting was held, which was only open to residents of Ferguson. Media or residents of other areas were not allowed to attend. This is part of a continuing series of meetings with residents where they are able to discuss situations affecting their town openly. Meanwhile, a number of protesters showed up at the St. Louis Cardinals playoff game to demonstrate. Later this week, things will only get busier in and around Ferguson as a planned weekend of activism, Ferguson October, takes place Friday through Monday. Thousands are expected to attend.

 

Photo credit: Sarah Kendzior

Justin Baragona

Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site's (@PoliticusSports).

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