What we know about Ferguson
Updated On: Aug 19 2014 06:14:39 PM CDT
Events are unfolding at a rapid pace in Ferguson, Missouri. The city has been in turmoil since August 9, when a white city police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, in the middle of a street. Protesters and law enforcement officers have clashed in the streets.
Here are the latest developments for Tuesday:
Another night of violence:
Once again, peaceful protests gave way to angry confrontations with police late Monday night into early Tuesday. After a handful of protesters threw rocks, bottles and Molotov cocktails, security forces responded with tear gas and stun grenades. Most of the demonstrators, however, tried to keep the peace.
St. Louis County jail officials said at least 77 people were arrested, the vast majority of them on refusal to disperse charges. Some of them came from as far away as New York and California. Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, who is in charge of security in Ferguson, told CNN there were 50 to 60 arrests.
Michael Brown's family:
The late teenager's mother, Lesley McSpadden, told NBC's "Today" show that the only way to end the unrest is "justice" -- which her family and their supporters have repeatedly tied to the arrest of the police officer who killed Brown.
"Justice will bring peace, I believe," McSpadden said.
The family's attorney, Benjamin Crump, also announced that Brown's funeral will be held Monday.
A grand jury could begin to hear testimony as early as Wednesday from witnesses, according to Ed Magee, a spokesman for the St. Louis County prosecutor's office. They'll ultimately decide whether or not to return an indictment against Darren Wilson, the police officer who killed Brown.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will visit Ferguson on Wednesday, in part to check on the investigation being handled by the Justice Department's civil rights division and the local U.S. Attorney's Office.
In an op-ed in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Holder said that a number of federal prosecutors and about 40 FBI agents have already been tasked with looking into the case. He said that hundreds of people have been interviewed and a team of medical examiners will conduct a second autopsy.
Prosecuting attorney protest:
Dozens protested Tuesday outside the office of St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch, demanding that he recuse himself in the case. The Mound City Bar Association -- a Missouri-based organization that calls itself "one of the oldest black bar associations west of the Mississippi River" -- did the same in a statement.
Some residents and community leaders claim McCulloch has deep ties to the police and has favored law enforcement in criminal cases.
Yet the prosecutor has given no indications that he'll step away.
The situation remains so unstable that the Ferguson-Florissant School District said it is canceling classes for the rest of the week. Two nearby districts -- Jennings and Riverview Gardens -- opted to remain closed again Tuesday as well, according to CNN affiliate KMOV.
In light of the closure, the Ferguson-Florissant School District is offering food assistance -- in the form of sack lunches -- to children and teenagers at five elementary schools between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
St. Louis County police are looking into Brown's shooting. President Obama has the Justice Department, including the FBI, looking into the case as well.
The police officer:
Darren Wilson, 28, who has six years on the force with no disciplinary issues on his record, is on paid administrative leave. If he returns to duty, he would have to undergo two psychological evaluations, authorities said. He was briefly taken to the hospital after the confrontation with Brown for treatment of an injury that left his face swollen, according to the Ferguson police chief.
Wilson has garnered more and more public support in recent days. That includes a rally held for him in St. Louis and a fundraising effort that had raised more than $36,000 from nearly 1,000 people as of Tuesday.
Michael Brown's family:
They've hired lawyers and expressed outrage at how the police have handled things, including Friday's simultaneous release of the officer's name and surveillance video from the day of the shooting that showed a man identified in police documents as Brown roughing up a convenience store clerk while purportedly stealing cigars. The family and critics of the department have accused police of trying to damage Brown's character.
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