Looters Strike Again in Ferguson, Threaten Journalists, Light Fire
The city of Ferguson, Missouri has descended into chaos again as rioters have broken into and looted multiple businesses—even assaulting journalists and citizens who have stood up to them and protected the buildings from further destruction.
After a peaceful night Thursday, protesters upset with the police-involved shooting of teenager Michael Brown remained optimistic Friday evening, comparing the feel of the demonstrations to a "block party." However, some attendees reportedly threw bottles at police—who re-donned riot gear, establishing another tense standoff.
Many observers feared the night would end in a violent clash, but shortly after 1 AM local time, several individuals began damaging stores and taking merchandise. The targets included the Ferguson Market & Liquor, the convenience store where Brown allegedly stole cigars and roughed up an employee.
Police did not intervene to stop the looters, instead holding their position in front of the main group of protesters. Regular citizens, however, began to stand in front of stores with broken doors and windows to prevent further looting. The individuals stealing from these businesses reportedly attacked or threatened journalists and bystanders who were videotaping them.
A police press conference stated officers equipped riot gear that night because a local business was set on fire.
Shortly after 3 AM local time, one observer did capture footage of a store on fire. Protesters expressed frustration as the tide seemingly turned in the looters' favor.