POLITICS

Random Acts Of Kindness In Ferguson

Amid the violent police response Wednesday night to the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, citizens also engaged in random acts of kindness.

David Carson, a staff photographer with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, was with the protesters and other members of the media when the police began firing tear gas.

A family provided him shelter in their home, where he stayed for several hours.

After Huffington Post reporter Ryan Reilly and Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery were arrested at the McDonald's where they were working Wednesday evening, Christine Conetta, a HuffPost Live producer working with Reilly, was trapped on the wrong side of a police wall, unable to get to him or the police station. Reilly had all the group's equipment as well as the rental-car keys.

Then police began a tear gas attack and Conetta was chased deep into the surrounding neighborhood. One local resident gave Conetta a T-shirt to hold over her mouth to fend off the gas. Others tried to help her navigate her way through side streets to get across town to the police station to find Reilly. The thick cloud of tear gas made it impossible, though residents finally guided her to the memorial site where Michael Brown was slain.

Eventually, a group of people there decided to go to the police station and offered her a ride. "The community was just very welcoming in general. Nobody was asking why I was there. Everybody said they appreciated the media being there and covering the ordeal and never had any qualms about answering questions. It was a 180 from D.C.," said Conetta.

But Reilly, now released, and Conetta were still miles from the car. HuffPost asked local residents if anyone was available to give them a lift, and several replied with offers.

The first to offer was Twitter user @jenn_if_er, who made it to the station around midnight to give two strangers a ride to their rental car, parked in a lonely McDonald's lot.

On Thursday morning, volunteers gathered to clean up the streets.

And a coffee shop in St. Louis advertised free coffee and Wi-Fi for journalists covering Ferguson.

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