Antonio French says 'police presence almost enough to start riot'

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by Adam McDonald

KMOV.com

Posted on August 18, 2014 at 12:30 AM

Updated Monday, Aug 18 at 2:01 AM

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FERGUSON, Mo. (KMOV.com staff) – Antonio French, Alderman for St. Louis City's 21st Ward, said the police presence in Ferguson was “almost enough to start a riot” due to the lack of trust between authorities and residents in Ferguson.

“I’ve been here every day since this thing has been going on,” French said. “Tonight was a different mood.”

He says the trust is so broken between authorities and residents that it’s at a point where he believes police must create a strong presence to be taken seriously, and that one or two squad cars isn’t enough anymore.

“We let those young people down,” French said.

French went on to say the ratio of younger to older people in Ferguson on Sunday was very one sided, with younger people outnumbering the older attendees. He says it’s the job of the leaders and the older residents to set an example for the younger residents and the only way to stop the violence is to for the community and police to come together and rectify their trust in one another.

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