FERGUSON, Mo. – At least seven people were arrested Monday during a gathering outside the Ferguson Police Department Monday. The protesters gathered to demand justice for the shooting death of an unarmed teen Saturday afternoon.
Michael Brown, 18, was killed by a Ferguson police officer outside the Canfield Green apartment complex Saturday afternoon. On Sunday morning, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said a struggle over the officer's gun led to the shooting.
The protesters have a list of four demands:
1. For the officer who killed Brown to be identified.
2. For the officer who killed Brown to be fired and charged with murder.
3. They want the police department's "Protocol Handbook" released to the public.
4. They want the Ferguson Police Department's employees to reflect the racial demographic of the community.
The group is asking for supporters to call Ferguson police demanding justice for Michael Brown. They are also planning a protest in front of St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch's office on Tuesday.
The group has emphasized their wish to protest peacefully, but police dressed in riot gear are poised, ready to respond if the crowd begins to riot.
At one point, protestors walked up to a line of state troopers wearing riot gear. They chanted, got close, and some even yelled at the officers, but no violence erupted and the hundreds of people walked back to South Florissant Road where they marched and continued their protest.
It went on for a good couple of hours. They chanted, "No justice, no peace", and "Hands up, don't shoot"... making references to their claim that Brown had his hands up when he was shot.
While the distaste for the police was strong in this crowd, not all the protestors saw the police as the problem.
"You're shooting us down like n****rs, cold blooded n****rs," said one of the protest organizers named Anthony Shahid. "You're treating us like slaves."
But protester Tabitha Lorick said, "I don't believe it's just a police thing either. I mean it's the black on black crime and all of the crime that's going on in the St. Louis area."
NewsChannel 5 has confirmed the FBI is taking over the investigation into Brown's death.
On Sunday evening, a candlelight vigil turned violent as crowds rioted in the streets, firing shots into the air, vandalizing and looting businesses. A Quiktrip store was also set on fire. During the riot, police said cancelled Monday's protest, threatening to arrest anyone who attends.
Chief Tom Jackson with Ferguson police now says peaceful demonstrators are allowed to protest, but if rioting begins, the crowd will be disbanded by police. He said several dozen officers are already at the scene and more on ready to respond if necessary.
As of 12:15 p.m. four people have been arrested at the protest. One man under arrest told NewsChannel 5's Mike Rush he is Mike Brown's cousin.
During an interview with NewsChannel 5, Jackson said his department continues to receive threatening phone calls and emails. Sunday night officers were shot at, but were not wounded.
The chief says, once the protest was over, those who remained were interfering with commerce and preventing the businesses along South Florissant to go about their day.