FERGUSON, Mo. (KMOV.com) – Frustration lingers in Ferguson more than a month after the shooting death of Michael Brown, Jr. After last weekend’s protest, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said a Missouri Senator escalated tensions that he said could have turned violent.
Chief Jackson said the statement came during Saturday’s protest outside the Ferguson Police Department. Demonstrators were blocking traffic and at one point, a driver refused to turn around. Instead, he pulled forward and bumped the protesters. Missouri Senator Chappelle-Nadal sent out a tweet calling for all protesters to come to the Ferguson Police Department.
ALL CALL: GET TO FERGUSON POLICE DEPARTMENT NOW!— MariaChappelleNadal (@MariaChappelleN) September 20, 2014
Some saw this as having potential to escalade an already angry crowd.
“When I heard about my intern being run over by a car, I was alarmed. Because there were other calls out, I did a call as well because we should be supporting each other,” said Chappelle-Nadal.
Chief Jackson said that Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal expressed ‘We’re going to shut down the road with or without you.'
“[Telling] me we have to shut the street down is not helping … What I was looking for is help in de-escalating the situation, not closing the road,” said Chief Jackson.
Chappelle-Nadal denies Chief Jackson’s claims. She said she merely suggested shutting down the street, a practice the police department has done in the past. She also saw it as a practice that would give protesters time to cool down.
“So if you could please shut down the street and let everyone do their protesting, it would save us a lot of problems later on,” said Chappelle-Nadal.
Whether it was a miscommunication or an example of the growing frustration is uncertain. But Monday’s town hall meeting in Ferguson will allow residents to voice their opinions to help the community move forward.