Riot police in Ferguson, Missouri have beaten back and pepper sprayed crowds of protesters who were commemorating the sixth anniversary of Michael Brown’s death, hurling themselves into the throng with batons and guns drawn, and making a series of arrests.
‘You don’t need that gun!’ one protester yelled, as a police officer charged into the crowd gathered outside the police headquarters, pointing his weapon at the demonstrators.
Ugly scenes unfolded as protesters were wrestled to the floor and arrested.
The chaos on Sunday night was captured in a video posted on Twitter by journalist Chuck Modi.
Riot police are seen forcing protesters back from headquarters of Ferguson police department
The police in the Missouri city clashed with protesters by graffiti reading ‘RIP Mike’ and BLM
A protester is seen being dragged away by police, outside the headquarters in Ferguson
One protester was seen being pushed to the floor by an officer in the melee
Protesters were knocked to the ground and arrests were made after the demo turned violent
A riot policeman pointed his gun at the protesters, leading them to yell that it was unnecessary
In Phoenix, Arizona, at least eight people were arrested on Sunday and police fired what appeared to be flash-bang grenades over a few dozen people who had gathered to pay tribute.
Shortly after 7pm, protesters pushed down and walked past the barricade in front of the Phoenix Police Department headquarters, AZ Central reported.
Police wearing riot gear and holding weapons came out and pushed protesters back to the street, fired what appeared to be flash-bang grenades into the air and fired pepper spray directly at a protester.
Phoenix, Arizona, also saw riot police clash with demonstrators marking the sixth anniversary
Police in Phoenix arrested eight people on Sunday night during protests against Brown’s killing
Michael Brown, left, was shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson, right, August 9, 2014
Filmmaker Chris Phillips is treated after being maced during the protest on Sunday night
The clashes pitted protesters against heavily-armed riot police on Sunday evening
The day of memorial had begun peacefully, with Michael Brown Sr releasing a pink dove to mark the anniversary.
His black teenage son, Michael Brown Jr, was shot and killed on August 9, 2014, by a white police officer, Darren Wilson.
Brown’s death sparked weeks of protests and riots in Ferguson and across the United States.
The 18-year-old’s killing became a flashpoint in race relations, and the Black Lives Matter movement was formed in part by a group of activists who were based in or traveled to the Missouri city to protest.
Large numbers of heavily-armed riot police patrolled the streets of Ferguson on Sunday night
Chaotic scenes on Sunday night in Ferguson, Missouri were captured by journalist Chuck Modi
Protesters were seen standing off in a confrontation with the police, who charged them
Wilson, who resigned in November 2014, was never charged with any offense, after a grand jury and the Department of Justice both found insufficient evidence to charge him.
The Brown family filed an unlawful death suit against the city of Ferguson in 2015, which was settled two years later for $1.5 million.
At the end of July the senior prosecutor for St Louis County announced that he too would not be pressing charges.
Wesley Bell, St Louis County’s first black prosecutor, had announced he would reopen the case after he took office in January 2019.
Bell quietly launched a review of the case earlier this year – but the family’s hopes for justice were crushed when he said that he will not be pressing charges against Wilson.
‘Can we prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime occurred? The answer to that is no,’ Bell said at a news conference.
‘My heart breaks’ for Michael’s parents, he added.
‘I know this is not the result they were looking for and that their pain will continue forever.’
Flowers were strewn on the road in Ferguson on Sunday, in tribute to the teenager.
A memorial was held at 11am at Canfield Green Apartments, where Brown was gunned down, with guest speakers and performances.
Brown was shot walking through the complex where he was living with his grandmother. Hundreds of residents saw his body lie for four hours in the street under the hot August sun.
Michael Brown Sr released a pink dove at the site where his son was killed six years ago
Brown Sr laid a rose at the site, in memory of his 18-year-old son whose death birthed BLM
Cori Bush, Democratic nominee for Missouri 1st congressional district speaks at the event
There was a four minute moment of silence to symbolize the hours Brown’s body was left in the middle of the street.
At 5pm, a ‘Black Celebrities and Chosen Fathers’ virtual town hall discussed police brutality, community violence and systemic racism.
Michael Brown Sr., Rev. Al Sharpton, activist Shaun King, Chicago rapper Chance the Rapper and reality TV star Porsha Williams were among speakers set to attend.
The day before, Brown Sr had traveled to Kentucky to address a rally demanding justice for Breonna Taylor, and said he was ‘dying inside’.
‘I can only imagine what the family goes through every day when they wake up not seeing those smiles. No talk. No hugs,’ Brown Sr. said at the rally, while standing in front of a two-story mural of Taylor in Louisville’s West End.
Taylor, 26, was killed on March 13 by Louisville police, who fired at her inside her own home after midnight, while she was in bed.
‘Those things will definitely kill you from the inside out,’ he added.
‘We might look OK in the face, but we dying in the inside.’