Tear gas and rubber bullets may not be the headlines in Ferguson right now, but the community is still looking for answers and what they consider justice for Michael Brown.
Protesters in Ferguson attempted to block an interstate on Wednesday afternoon in a planned demonstration that called for a new prosecutor in Brown’s case.
This time police came prepared.
They lined the intersection and had a white bus on hand for arrests. At one point, they brought out the armored vehicle that we all saw parked in front of protesters just three weeks ago. Reporters on the ground there said the police outnumbered protesters by far.
— joelcurrier (@joelcurrier) September 10, 2014
Just minutes after demonstrators blocked the highway, police started cuffing protesters and loading them into the white bus.
— George Sells (@GeorgeSells) September 10, 2014
However, despite the arrests, Eric Vickers, an organizer of the Justice for Michael Brown Leadership Coalition, said the I-70 demonstrators were not inclined to disburse, according to St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Steve Giegerich.
“I guess we’ll just tie up police for another couple hours,” Vickers said.
One of the leaders of this demonstration is Anthony Shahid, a St. Louis activist who has been on the front lines of the Ferguson protests for weeks. When the unrest on West Florissant Avenue was at its peak, Shahid was often at the front of the crowd, chanting through a megaphone and donning chains around his neck and a fake police cap.
“It is going to cause people some discomfort, it is going to cause inconvenience to people,” said Eric Vickers, who is an organizer of the Justice for Michael Brown Leadership Coalition. “That is a small price to pay to change the conditions for African American youth, and it is a very small price to pay to bring justice to Michael Brown.”
Michael Brown’s family, however, did not support this demonstration and didn’t attend.
Speaking to reporters earlier this week, Vickers said the I-70 shutdown was only the beginning of a larger campaign that will “escalate” until a St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch is pulled from the case and replaced with a special prosecutor.
McCulloch, whose father was shot and killed by a black cop, has been accused of racial bias, which puts even more strain on a community that is already deeply divided. Many in Ferguson have questioned his ability to conduct a fair investigation on Darren Wilson, the officer who killed Brown, because he also has deep family ties to police.
Protesters have gathered outside his office several times in an effort to force him off the case.