Activists Smell Publicity Stunt As State Senator Arrested At Ferguson Protest Monday Night


jamilah nasheed

During a small protest in front of the Ferguson police station Monday night, Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed was arrested for violating an order from police to not block traffic. Earlier in the evening, police approached protesters and informed them that they would arrest protesters that stood in the street deliberately and blocked traffic. Officers also indicated that they would enforce the city’s noise ordinance, beginning at 11 PM local time.

Nasheed was not among the protesters when these announcements were made. However, some time after police told this to the crowd, Nasheed showed up with another man. Almost immediately, Nasheed and the other individual went directly into the street, got down on their knees and placed their hands up. After a short period, police on the scene placed Nasheed and the man under arrest. Protesters on the scene indicate that Nasheed was smiling the entire time. CNN, among other media outlets, showed up to report on the arrest.


Below are tweets and Vine videos showing Nasheed in the street and then being arrested:




To local activists on the ground, something seemed not quite right about the whole ordeal. In the past, when protesters were arrested at the station, they’ve been placed inside a squad car or paddy wagon to be sent to another jurisdiction to be processed. (Ferguson’s police station is still under construction and currently has no holding cells.) Nasheed was taken into the adjacent fire station. Eventually, local clergy were allowed to go and speak to her. Also, St. Louis Alderman Antonio French and activist Anthony Shahid appeared soon after to assist.

It was obvious to many that Nasheed was just trying to gain some publicity for herself while at the same time hoping to gain some credibility with committed activists and protesters. However, most of them at the scene saw through it. While talking to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Tony Rice said the following about Nasheed:

“She was the only one marching by herself and some dude she marched with. All of us protesting have been here all day. Then she shows up maybe 15 minutes ago, starting this crap. She was not over here protesting with us at all.”

Rice also tweeted throughout the evening, pointing out how little protesters on the scene appreciated Nasheed’s attention seeking ways. In regards to Shahid trying to give an update to the crowd about Nasheed’s status, Rice tweeted the following:  


Eventually, it was stated that Nasheed would be transferred to St. Ann and processed. It was also announced that she had refused bond and would spend the entire night in jail. This also smacked of attention seeking to those gathered, especially as nobody there had heard of anyone refusing bond when arrested during a protest.

Another activist who was there when Nasheed was arrested, Kayla Reed, vented her frustration regarding Nasheed’s actions on Twitter.

Eventually, Nasheed’s attorney, Eric Vickers, all but admitted that Nasheed was doing it for the notoriety. He tried to peddle it as Nasheed trying to show protesters. Vickers told the Post, “She wants to present this as an alternative to any sort of violent action.” He was claiming that since it is quite possible that Darren Wilson will not be indicted, Nasheed wanted to set an example for other protesters on the correct way to be arrested and make a statement.

Another attorney for Nasheed, Jerryl Christmas, spoke Monday evening and said that Nasheed’s arrest will bring positive attention and media focus on the protests, due to her “stature.”

“She’s down with the struggle. These are her constituents. She’s one with what’s going on here and in the city…If somebody of her stature gets arrested, that ups the ante.”

As of 6:30 AM local time Tuesday morning, Nasheed was still in jail. However, a press conference was already scheduled for 10 AM. Therefore, it is assumed she will post bond and take advantage of the media attention she so desperately craves.

9 Replies to “Activists Smell Publicity Stunt As State Senator Arrested At Ferguson Protest Monday Night”

  1. There’s always one.

    The leaders of the movement in Ferguson are very smart people, I’m sure it didn’t take long for them to shine light on Ms Nasheed’s true intent. Good on them.

  2. Of course it was a publicity stunt. So was Gandhi’s hunger strike. Every bit of attention focussed on Ferguson is important.

  3. Way to only report part of the story. She was also arrested with a (legal) concealed 9mm handgun and extra ammunition -BUT- she was also suspected of being intoxicated and refused a breathalizer. Why is this important??? Glad you asked…

    Under Missouri State Law 571.030.1. A person commits the crime of unlawful use of weapons if he or she knowingly:
    (5) Has a firearm or projectile weapon readily capable of lethal use on his or her person, while he or she is intoxicated….

    This is a Class D felony and can result in a punishment of up to four years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000. I ask, why was she not charged??A warrant for a toxicology report should have been obtained and she should have been arrested under the felony charge.

  4. OMG! A politician using a tragedy to make political capital from it?

    Who would have thought?

    I’m confident that this is the first time in history this has ever happened and that no political person will ever be so stupid, insensitive, and uncaring to ever do it again. Rrrrriiiiiggghhhhhttt!

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