FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — The latest in the events marking the anniversary of the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri (all times local):
Members of an armed militia group patrolling the streets of Ferguson have drawn criticism from the county police chief overseeing security in the St. Louis suburb.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said Tuesday that the overnight presence of the Oath Keepers, wearing bulletproof vests and openly carrying rifles and pistols on West Florissant Avenue was “both unnecessary and inflammatory.”
The street has been the focus of demonstrations marking the anniversary of the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
The far-right anti-government activist group largely comprises past and present military personnel, first responders and law enforcement personnel. Oath Keepers appeared in Ferguson in November saying they were protecting businesses from rioting and looters.
The Associated Press left a message with John Karriman, a representative of the group in Missouri.
Belmar plans to ask county prosecutor Bob McCulloch about the legality of the group’s armed patrols.
A St. Louis County Police spokesman says about two dozen people were arrested during a protest along West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson.
Officer Shawn McGuire said early Tuesday that approximately 23 arrests were made, although police were still confirming official totals.
Hundreds of people gathered along West Florissant, the thoroughfare that was the site of massive protests and rioting after 18-year-old Michael Brown was fatally shot last year in a confrontation with a Ferguson police officer.
The crowd marched, chanted and at times confronted police.
McGuire says several bottles, frozen water bottles and rocks were thrown at officers throughout the night. He says no one was injured.
Protests also spilled outside of Ferguson earlier Monday. Almost 60 people were arrested around midday for blocking the entrance to the federal courthouse in downtown St. Louis. Another group later briefly blocked Interstate 70 during the late afternoon rush hour. McGuire says about 64 arrests were made then.
(Photo Source: AP)