Have police tactics in Ferguson been appropriate?


by KMOV.com Staff


Posted on August 19, 2014 at 3:42 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 19 at 4:13 PM

(KMOV.com) – Police told News 4 their response to the unrest in Ferguson has been appropriate, but others disagree.

Protests during the day in Ferguson have been peaceful, but they have gotten rowdy after the sun goes down. Authorities have used different tactics to deal with what happens at night.

Some protesters have said police were restrained Monday night, but have also said the use of riot gear and armored vehicle have insulted and provoked protesters, making the situation worse.

“It’s making us upset, we don’t want to see that,” protester Kesha Gray said.

“The tactics the police have used are totally unnecessary,” protester Dante Carter said.

Police told News 4 they elect to use tear gas only when necessary.

“In the dark of night, there were at least two people shot,” Captain Rob Johnson with the Missouri Highway Patrol said.

Authorities said an armored car was called in only after the situation deteriorated.

“Tonight we used a SWAT truck and another large vehicle to get into a violent, dangerous area to extract a gunshot wound victim,” Johnson said.

Police said a few peaceful protesters were on the receiving end of tear gas because there were near violent members of the crowd. Despite the fact those who were obeying the law were caught in the middle, some Ferguson residents told News 4 they are happy with the methods police are using.

“What the police are doing is a good thing,” Michael Baker said. “They are calming them down, but something more needs to be done.”

A criminology professor told News 4 inadvertently gassing peaceful protesters could fuel the sense of injustice against police. Authorities are telling peaceful protesters can avoid the tear gas by going home before things escalate.