Police and protesters spent Sunday gearing up for the culmination of a weekend of demonstrations in Ferguson and across St. Louis.
Protest organizers planned to stage several acts of civil disobedience at undisclosed places on what they called “Moral Monday.”
On Sunday, people protesting the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen, by white police officer Darren Wilson gathered to discuss tactics and strategy but kept secret where and when the actions might take place. Police expressed frustration about the coming events and planned to have extra officers ready to respond as they learn of them of events.
“Police officers don’t like the unknown,” St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson said. “So anything that would impact the average person’s daily life concerns me. … Can I keep the public safe? Can I keep the officers safe? Can I keep some sense of normalcy in our community?”
The actions, which protesters have yet to describe, come on the last official day of “Ferguson October,” a four-day weekend of marches, rallies and meetings about social activism.
Dotson plans to place extra police officers at St. Louis’ football and baseball stadiums in an effort to pre-empt any protests that may happen there. The Rams are playing the San Francisco 49ers at 7:30 pm CT at the Edward Jones Dome. The Cardinals, in the National League Championship Series, are in San Francisco and do not play Monday.
Officers, though they don’t have body cameras, will be using handheld cameras to record events in case of later disputes, Dotson said. Since Thursday, officers have been working 12-hour days instead of their usual eight-hour shifts.
SOURCE: Yamiche Alcindor