FERGUSON, Mo. (KMOV.com) – Tuesday night started calm in Ferguson, but around midnight changed to tense when urine and bottles were thrown at police.
Authorities said they arrested 51 people before daybreak Wednesday morning. Captain Ron Johnson, with the Missouri Highway Patrol, said a person from Austin, Texas was arrested for a third time overnight.
According to authorities, those responsible for throwing bottles and urine hid within the media staging area. Of the 51 arrests, nine were from outside of Missouri and only one was from Ferguson.
Multiple arrests were made near Canfield and inside the media staging area just moments later. Police ordered media members to leave the area around 12:20 a.m., citing safety concerns.
Police said they seized three handguns throughout the night.
Johnson called Tuesday night a turning point and credited clergy and other leaders for keeping things calm for majority of the evening.
Before midnight, News 4’s Julian Johnson said the mood was relatively calm compared to other nights. The make-up of the crowd began to change from an older crowd to a younger crowd the later it got in the night.
Throughout the night, chants changed from “No Justice, No Peace,” to “Time to Kill a Cop.”
Johnson also observed police quickly enforcing the static assembly rule, which required protesters to keep moving. Around midnigh, a larger number of officers started gathering in the area where protests were being held.
Many protesters have said their rights have been ignored or violated by officers patrolling the area around the protests.
“I talked to a lady who said ‘you put smoke and gas in my house last night in my home. Why?’ I said ‘last night there were gentlemen on the corner with handguns and if I don’t use tear gas, there is a gunfight between an officer and a citizen,”Ron Johnson said.
Police said they did not use any tear gas or smoke bombs Tuesday night, but did use pepper spray on some protesters in the area.