Ferguson Police Chief Marches With Protesters, Clashes Ensue

Scuffles break out between police, crowd calling for Tom Jackson's resignation
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 26, 2014 7:15 AM CDT
Ferguson Police Chief Marches With Protesters, Arrests Ensue
Tom Jackson, the Ferguson police chief, begins to march with protesters before clashes led to arrests in front of the Ferguson Police Department on Sept. 25, 2014.   (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Robert Cohen)

Just hours after Tom Jackson issued a video apology to Michael Brown's parents and the peaceful demonstrators of Ferguson, the police chief tried one more tactic to reach out to the crowd protesting outside police headquarters last night: march with them. Jackson stepped outside to meet with people on the streets who demanded his resignation, letting them know his department is investigating "all those things that are causing mistrust," NBC News reports. But the crowd didn't seem particularly appeased—and when Jackson started walking down the streets of Ferguson with them, things only got worse.

Jackson, who was wearing street clothes when he made his late-night appearance outside HQ, notes the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, had a Ferguson PR rep by his side (a rep, incidentally, who has been convicted of reckless homicide for shooting and killing an unarmed man, reports the Post-Dispatch). When the conversation seemed to be going nowhere, Jackson asked what the people would like him to do next, and some suggested he march with them, which he did—but the gesture didn't last long, St. Louis Public Radio reports: After about 10 yards, a scuffle broke out among protesters and officers trying to stay close to Jackson, resulting in several arrests. Antonio French, a local alderman who has been vocal in publicizing the protests, tweeted, "For the record: This is the second riot this police chief has incited. He needs to resign." He also tells NBC News: "Just [the officers] being out there pushing started stuff—it’s a complete misread of the situation. [Jackson's] very presence agitated the crowd." (Read more Ferguson, Missouri stories.)

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