Michael Brown Memorial Burns, Stirs New Unrest in Ferguson

Vandalism, arrests, possible arson mar uneasy quiet in Mo. town
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2014 9:42 AM CDT
Michael Brown Memorial Burns, Stirs New Unrest in Ferguson
A fire burns on Sept. 23, 2014, at a memorial in Ferguson, Mo., on the site where a Missouri police officer fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown.    (AP Photo/Jacob Crawford)

Tensions in Ferguson may have been muted for the past few weeks, but they haven't dissipated. One of two memorials for Michael Brown near the spot where he was killed went up in flames yesterday—and some residents think the fire was intentionally set, especially given reports of a gasoline smell. Police are also being blamed for not doing more as the teddy bears, signs, and blankets burned, reports the AP. "The police came here and watched it burn," a man who lives near the Canfield Drive tributes says. Tom Jackson, Ferguson's police chief, said in a statement that he was "saddened" by the fire and that the first officer who arrived at the scene couldn't handle the flames on his own and had to call the fire department.

The memorial's destruction appears to have created more unrest: At least three people have been arrested after one business went up in flames (with a similar reported gasoline smell), another was broken into, and shots were fired as police left a local apartment complex they had just blocked off, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Police also tell KSDK that someone attempted to "light up" an auto repair shop frequented by law enforcement. Further ratcheting up tensions: a Ferguson city council meeting yesterday evening that tabled a vote to set up a citizen review board to keep an eye on police, KSDK notes. A new memorial to Brown has been created and placed on the charred site of the original one, the AP notes. (Read more Michael Brown stories.)

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