Ferguson: 210 Arrests, Father Visits Memorial, Two Officers Suspended
Above: Lohgan Booker stopped to visit a mural tribute to Michael Brown painted by Joseph Albanese on the side of Signature Screenprinting at Union Boulevard and Cote Brilliante Avenue on Friday, Aug. 22, 2014. “I just want to let this man rest,” said Booker. The screenprinting business co-owner Natasha Harris said that she was looking for a statement with a positive effect. “We respect the police, but we just want the violence to stop,” said Harris. Photo by Robert Cohen, email@example.com
With 8 arrests on Thursday night (there were none on Friday), the total number arrested during the Michael Brown protests is now 210.
Michael Brown’s father, visited the street memorial people have created at the site of his 18 year old son’s death. The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports:
“Michael Brown Sr. hugged well-wishers who recognized him and came to share words of encouragement or brief prayers. Anthony Shahid, an activist who was accompanying Brown Sr., said he didn’t want to speak to the media. He was exhausted, Shahid said, and just wanted to see the memorial to his son.”
The visit marked Brown Sr.’s first visit to the site since a candlelight vigil not long after the shooting. His wife, Cal Brown, who is Michael’s step mother described the site as “beautiful.”
At around 10 PM on Friday night, about 150 protesters marched down West Florissant Avenue toward the site of the killing. They chanted “I am Mike Brown.” The police blocked the road with cars and the protesters turned around. No arrests were made. Earlier in the evening a slow moving protest occurred as people walked in small groups along the roadway and when they got the attention of people driving by raised their arms in the ‘don’t shoot me’ pose.
There are multiple factors for the smaller protests — exhaustion, the criminal justice process beginning, Attorney General Holder’s visit to the area and the weather: it was 91 degrees at 7 p.m. with a heat index of 103, by 10 PM it was still 85 degrees with a heat index of 96.
Two police officers were suspended for comments they made on Facebook and in a videotaped speech. Glendale officer Matthew Pappert was suspended after posting on social media that he thought the Ferguson protesters should be “put down like rabid dogs.”
A 35 year veteran of the St. Louis County Police Department, Don Page, was suspended for a speech he gave to the local Oath Keepers that was uploaded to YouTube in April. The speech was brought to Chief Jon Belmar’s attention by CNN Reporter Don Lemon, who had previously been pushed by Page. In the speech Page said: “Policemen are very cynical. I know I am, I hate everybody. I’m into diversity. I kill everybody.” He also described President Obama as an “illegal alien.” Police Chief Jon Belmar suspended Page telling the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he would have fired Page if a review weren’t first required. The review will begin Monday. Page will be told to undergo a psychological evaluation, according to USA Today. The chief apologized to the public for the comments saying this is not how we expect police officers to behave.
On Monday evening the Missouri History Museum to host a town hall meeting at the museum at 6 p.m. “in response to the violence and on-going hostilities” between community and police in Ferguson, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Mark Albrecht, a local activist and founder of the Project Engage Network who organized the event, said the community needs “to have some real conversations with our kids.” Monday will also be the day of the public memorial service for Michael Brown planned by his family.