FERGUSON, Mo. - Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson appealed to the public at a news conference Thursday, saying his department would attempt to arrange for demonstrators to peaceably assemble on city streets to protest the shooting death of Michael Brown.
Jackson said he had met with the national president of the NAACP, the local chapter head of the group, as well as representatives from the U.S. Department of Justice, and discussed ways to accommodate protestors while still allowing for businesses to operate and traffic to flow clearly.
Road cones will be laid out along West Florissant Avenue to mark an area for demonstrators so they'll stay out of the street, and portable toilets would be brought out for people to use. The chief said police would not install barricades because he is hoping for cooperation from the public and wants to help "facilitate their ability to protest, because it's a Constitutional right."
Protestors will be allowed to stay out as long as they want, Jackson said.
On Wednesday night, Jackson said police at the scene of the protests had rocks, bricks, and bottles thrown at them. At one point, a person from the crowd of protestors chucked a Molotov cocktail at them; gunshots erupted in the vicinity, prompting a response.
"If individuals are in a crowd that's attacking police, they need to get out of that crowd," he said, adding that it's impossible for police to go up to every individual in a crowd to ask if they're obeying the law and protesting peacefully.
St. Louis Alderman Antonio French was arrested Wednesday night amid the protests and released Thursday morning. Following his release, French said he went into his car to escape tear gas and smoke bombs being thrown by police. While in his car, police approached him, dragged him out of the car, and arrested him.
French, the representative of the 21st Ward, said that he had not been given documentation as to why he was arrested, and he said he didn't have to post any bond. He added that he didn't receive mistreatment by police, but rights of protesters were being violated.
When asked about French's arrest, and the arrest of two reporters at a Ferguson McDonald's, Chief Jackson said if anybody was arrested it was because they were in an area police were clearing out.
"The media is not a target," he said.
Ultimately, police department tactics will be reviewed.
"I understand that what it looks like is not good. The whole situation is not good at this point," Jackson said.
One police officer suffered a broken ankle after being struck by a thrown brick, Jackson said. No other injuries were reported from last night's unrest.
At the time of Thursday afternoon's news conference, Chief Jackson had not heard of Governor Jay Nixon's proclamation that St. Louis County police would be pulled from the investigation.
Michael Brown, 18, was shot and killed Saturday, August 2 while walking to his grandmother's house with a friend.