State of Emergency Declared in Ferguson after 18-Year-Old Shot During Anniversary of Michael Brown’s Death

State of Emergency Declared in Ferguson after 18-Year-Old Shot During Anniversary of Michael Brown’s Death

Authorities declared a state of emergency in Ferguson, Missouri on Monday to prevent a repeat of the violence that erupted during protests Sunday night to mark the anniversary of the police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Peaceful protests took place over the weekend, but violence broke out Sunday night and followed into Monday as unrest ensued.

“Safety, our top priority, is now compromised,” a St Louis County police spokesman said on Twitter soon after 10pm on Monday. “This is no longer a peaceful protest. Participants are now unlawfully assembled.

On Sunday night amid the chaos, police shot 18-year-old Tyrone Harris Jr., reportedly a “very close” friend of Brown, who they say used a stolen handgun to fire at them.

18-year-old Tyrone Harris Jr. was shot during protests during anniversary of Michael Brown's death

(Image source: KMOV)

Prosecutors charged Harris, who was in a critical and unstable condition at a hospital, with four counts of first-degree assault on law enforcement officials, five counts of armed criminal action, and one count of shooting a firearm at a vehicle. His bond was set at $250,000 cash-only.

They allege that Tyrone Harris had exchanged gunfire with another suspect. The police say that Harris was shot as police pursued him, after he began firing at them.

However, Harris’ father told the Associated Press the police version of events was “a bunch of lies”.

Tyrone Harris Sr said his son was unarmed and and had been drawn into a dispute involving two groups of young people. “My son was running to the police to ask for help, and he was shot,” he said. “It’s all a bunch of lies… They’re making my son look like a criminal.”

When the shooting happened, he was out on bond in a separate felony case. A St. Louis Police Department spokesman confirmed to TheBlaze that Harris was arrested in November on charges of stealing a car, theft of a firearm and resisting arrest by fleeing.

KTVI reported that a Facebook page said to belong to Harris features dozens of photos of Harris posing with guns and statuses about illegal and gang-related activities, often using the hashtag #pistolgang.

18-year-old Tyrone Harris Jr. Facebook photo

(Image source: KTVI-TV)

18-year-old Tyrone Harris Jr. Facebook photo

(Image source: Daily Haze)

Police clashed with hundreds of protesters in Ferguson throughout Monday night.

There was a tense standoff with protesters grouped on one side of the street and police wearing riot helmets and holding shields on the other.

St. Louis County officers who bullhorned orders attempting to get the crowd off the street and onto the sidewalk were pelted with bottles, rocks and pepper spray. 

At one point, as officers broke their lines and chased down a protester who appeared to have thrown a bottle, they pinned the man down and pepper sprayed him in the face.

By 2 a.m. the final protesters dispersed.

Overnight, at least 23 arrests were made, county police said. However, despite the arrests, there were no shots fired and no burglaries, looting or property damage during the protests, County police spokesman Shawn McGuire said in a statement. No smoke canisters or teargas were used, and no injuries to police or civilians were reported.

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