Ferguson Tense Ahead Of First Night With National Guard Troops In Town

Ferguson Tense Ahead Of First Night With National Guard Troops In Town

FERGUSON, Mo. -- Police moved aggressively Monday evening to prevent the kind of chaos that ensued the previous night, when protesters threw molotov cocktails at officers who responded with tear gas to clear the streets.

Midday Monday, the QuikTrip -- the burned-down gas station that had become a meeting place for protesters -- was shut down and made off-limits to everyone, including journalists, who had used it for live interviews. Officers told protesters to keep moving if they wanted to demonstrate and said they could not linger in large groups. One officer told The Huffington Post the order came from the governor's office. A spokesman for Gov. Jay Nixon (D) did not return a request for comment.

Around 4 p.m., people were cleared from the McDonald's restaurant on West Florissant Avenue and were told it was closing -- far earlier than on previous days. On Sunday night, protesters seeking refuge from tear gas broke into the McDonald's.

Traffic on West Florissant was severely restricted. One officer told The Huffington Post the street was open only to local traffic.

Protesters, however, continued to gather outside the McDonald's. Shortly after 5 p.m., officers told them to move to an empty parking lot across the street. They were warned that if they didn't listen, they would be arrested.

Malik Shabazz, with the group Black Lawyers for Justice, got on the bullhorn and tried to calm the angry crowd, saying it was too early in the day to fight with police, and not to let the demonstration end in arrests. The crowd, for the most part, went with him to the new parking lot, although the protest had lost its fizzle by then.

Police officers reportedly arrested news photographer Scott Olson of Getty Images on West Florissant Avenue Monday evening.

Last Wednesday, Ferguson police officers arrested Ryan Reilly of The Huffington Post and Wes Lowery of The Washington Post.

There also was a protest in downtown St. Louis on Monday afternoon. According to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police, eight protesters were "peacefully arrested" for "failure to disperse."

See below for the latest in Ferguson:

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