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State, County Police Take Over Ferguson Protest Security After Shooting

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(CNN) Greg Botelho reports: With tensions running high after the shooting of two officers in Ferguson, Missouri, state and county police are once again taking over protest security in the St. Louis suburb.

St. Louis County Police and the Missouri State Highway Patrol will “assume command of the security detail regarding protests” at 6 p.m. (7 p.m. ET), St. Louis County Police said in a statement.

“We could have buried two police officers,” Belmar told reporters. “… I feel very confident that whoeverdid this … came there for whatever nefarious reason that it was.”

—  St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar

Ferguson Police will remain responsible for routine policing services in the city, the statement said.

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The takeover comes less than a day after two police officers standing guard outside Ferguson police headquarters were shot in what St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar called an “ambush,” spurring a manhunt for those responsible for targeting the line of officers.

“The most important thing is the safety of the protesters, so we’re meeting to organize what tonight would look like, if we’re coming out, because we know that tensions are high within the Police Department after the incident that occurred last night, so we just want to make sure that people are safe.”

— Kayla Reed of the Organization for Black Struggle

“We could have buried two police officers,” Belmar told reporters. “… I feel very confident that whoever did this … came there for whatever nefarious reason that it was.”

Protests Continue In DC One Day After Ferguson Grand Jury Decision

This isn’t the first time that county police and state troopers have stepped in to handle protest security.

“It’s a very tense situation, as you can well imagine. In my communications as a union official with police commanders, I’ve been assured that tactics will be different tonight. I assume that means not only more officers, but a wider perimeter, with coverage, perhaps, of these blind spots from which the shots were fired last night.”

— St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar

When clashes between police and protesters boiled over last year, Missouri’s governor declared a state of emergency and tapped the State Highway Patrol to take over. After that emergency declaration expired in December, Ferguson Police resumed command of protest security. Officers from other agencies have continued to provide backup at larger protests.

Riot police clear demonstrators from a street in Ferguson

Protest organizers are meeting to determine whether they’ll demonstrate again Thursday night.

“The most important thing is the safety of the protesters, so we’re meeting to organize what tonight would look like, if we’re coming out, because we know that tensions are high within the Police Department after the incident that occurred last night, so we just want to make sure that people are safe,” said Kayla Reed of the Organization for Black Struggle.

If protesters return, they’ll see a different security situation on the streets, said Jeff Roorda of the St. Louis Police Officers Association.

“It’s a very tense situation, as you can well imagine,” he told CNN’s “The Situation Room.” “In my communications as a union official with police commanders, I’ve been assured that tactics will be different tonight. I assume that means not only more officers, but a wider perimeter, with coverage, perhaps, of these blind spots from which the shots were fired last night.”

The shots rang out shortly after midnight, at the end of a protest against the Ferguson Police Department. That department has been under fire since one of its officers, Darren Wilson, shot and killed black teen Michael Brown in August, and more recently since a scathing U.S. Department of Justice report came out documenting a pattern of racial discrimination. Police Chief Thomas Jackson resigned from his post Wednesday.

While the demonstrators’ focus was Ferguson, neither of the wounded officers works in that St. Louis suburb’s police department….(read more)

CNN.com

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One Comment on “State, County Police Take Over Ferguson Protest Security After Shooting”

  1. Father Paul Lemmen says:

    Reblogged this on A Conservative Christian Man.


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