Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Tuesday, October 20, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Night 47° Partly Cloudy
News >  Nation/World

Governor declares emergency, imposes curfew in Ferguson

David Lieb Associated Press

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and imposed a curfew Saturday in the St. Louis suburb where a black teenager was shot to death by a white police officer a week ago.

Nixon said that though many protesters were making themselves heard peacefully, the state would not allow a handful of looters to endanger the community. The curfew will run from midnight to 5 a.m.

Tensions in Ferguson flared late Friday after police released the name of the officer who fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown and documents alleging Brown robbed a store before he died.

Nixon also said the U.S. Department of Justice is beefing up its investigation of the shooting.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, who is in charge of security in Ferguson, said there were 40 FBI agents going door-to-door talking to people who might have seen or have information about the shooting.

Nixon and Johnson spoke at a church in Ferguson, where they were interrupted repeatedly by people demanding justice and objecting to the curfew.

Johnson assured those in attendance that police would communicate with protesters and give them ample opportunity to observe the curfew.

“You saw people sitting in the street and they had the chance to get up,” he said. “And that’s how it’s going to continue.”

Brown’s death had already ignited several days of clashes with furious protesters. Tensions eased Thursday after Nixon turned oversight of the protests over to the Missouri Highway Patrol. Gone were the police in riot gear and armored vehicles, replaced by the new patrol commander who personally walked through the streets with demonstrators. But Friday night marked a resurgence of unrest.

Local officers faced strong criticism earlier in the week for their use of tear gas and rubber bullets against protesters. Johnson said one tear gas canister was deployed Friday night after the group of rioters became unruly.

The officer who killed Brown was identified as 28-year-old Darren Wilson, a six-year police veteran who had no previous complaints filed against him.

The Ferguson Police Department has refused to say anything about Wilson’s whereabouts, and Associated Press reporters were unable to contact him at any addresses or phone numbers listed under that name in the St. Louis area.

Wilson has been on paid administrative leave since the shooting. St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch said it could be weeks before the investigation wraps up.

St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley asked Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster on Friday to take over the case, saying he did not believe McCulloch could be objective. Koster said Missouri law does not allow it unless McCulloch opts out, and McCulloch spokesman Ed Magee said the prosecutor has no plans to surrender the case.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.



American families feeling the pinch of COVID-19 pandemic

The COUNTRY Financial Security Index asked about 1,330 adult Americans in different income brackets a variety of questions, including how their finances are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. (Courtesy COUNTRY Financial)
Sponsored

The year 2020 hasn’t been the most forgiving year for families and their pocketbooks.