Black Voices

Ferguson Protesters Guard Stores From Looters

Chaos broke out in the streets of Ferguson on Friday night, the same day that police announced the name of the officer who killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown and released footage appearing to show Brown stealing cigarettes from a convenience store. Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson later said Friday the initial contact between Brown and officer Darren Wilson was not related to a convenience store robbery.

A peaceful protest on Friday night turned into another confrontation with police after some in the crowd reportedly threw rocks and people began looting stores, including the convenience store that Brown was accused of robbing. Police formed lines and fired tear gas to disperse the crowd.

In the midst of it all, protesters took it upon themselves to guard stores against looting.

"Ain't nobody going in this motherfucker, bro" - resident guarding beauty store pic.twitter.com/NMS55aH1Tg

— Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) August 16, 2014

Some reporters on scene noted that police appeared to be hanging back from intervening with looters, and that a small minority of protesters was looting.

Despite looting, police have not moved from their position. Still holding back #Ferguson

— Conetta (@BmoreConetta) August 16, 2014

there are a few rogue dudes who want to fuck shit up most residents trying to stop, stop looting stop violence.

— Amy K. Nelson (@AmyKNelson) August 16, 2014

Cops nowhere near. Crowd policing ITSELF. Community leaders and NIO/Panthers PREVENTING LOOTING

— Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) August 16, 2014

Hundreds in the streets. Only a few dozen attempting to loot. Dozens more physically trying to prevent

— Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) August 16, 2014