After nights of tension, calm reigns in Ferguson Wednesday
ERGUSON – Following 11 days of riots and arrests, Wednesday night in Ferguson was marked by relative calm.
Authorities said there were very fewer incidents than other nights, only six people were arrested, 41 less than the previous night.
“Tonight, the radios were mostly quiet,” Captain Ron Johnson, with the Missouri Highway Patrol said. “There were no Molotov cocktails, no fires, no shootings. Tonight we deployed no smoke, no tear gas, and no mace.”
Two people protesting in support of Darren Wilson, the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, were removed from the crowd of protesters.
“Each night I’ve seen a turning point. Each night I’ve seen small steps,” Johnson said. “Sometimes those small steps are hard to see but I know small steps turn into big steps so we’ve been taking small steps every night.”
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Police said someone threw a bottle at an officer near Canfield around 8:00 p.m., the officer was not injured in the incident.
The attire of the officers was much different than previous nights, they were not wearing any riot gear. Some protestors told News 4 they initiated conversations with the police.
“What I saw tonight was good, some of these police was talking to the people. Instead of making the snide remarks, they were talking,” a protestor told News 4. “It needs to be a lot more of that and our youth need to see that because for the last week or so, our youth has been seeing police with the guns in not only their relatives, but their parents face. “
Watch: Capt. Ron Johnson early morning press conference
The crowd protesting was smaller compared to previous nights, at the height of the protests News 4’s Julian Johnson estimated only 150 people in the crowd. According to News 4’s Laura Hettiger, around midnight, the number of police officers and media outweighed the number of people walking around.
Capt. Johnson noted there were fewer “agitators” in the crowd on Wednesday compared to previous nights. He also credited clergy members for the keeping the night peaceful.
“The clergy have been a great example of the strength of this community,” Johnson said.