The attempted shutdown of Interstate 70 was a complete failure. I managed to avoid being a part of this event since it was during the day and the event fizzled out by the time my shift started that night. However, officers from my agency were in attendance.
A group of around one hundred to two hundred people organized near the North Hanley Metrolink Station and moved North on Hanley in between the venues of Bel-Ridge and UMSL in unincorporated North St. Louis County. Since the protest had been widely scheduled for the last week, after being originally canceled on 9/01/2014, a contingent of St. Louis County, MSHP, and local municipal officers were waiting as the group approached the interstate. For the record, the group of officers and protesters alike were comparatively small when viewed against the larger aid calls of a few weeks ago along W. Florissant and the surrounding areas.
Bottles and threats flew, while Officers adopted a new novel strategy this time. They arrested people breaking the law en bulk. By the end of the afternoon, County Intake (the county jail) was filled near to capacity. There were calls for the protests to continue at the Ferguson Police Department but it was around that time that severe storms began and the rain ended the event for good. Organizer Eric Vickers was quoted in the POST as saying:
“The police “tied up traffic for us,” Vickers said. “So we accomplished our aim of bringing attention to this issue.”
In green is the two minute detour it took to get around the protest.
As someone who has been so critical of a system that supposedly institutes fines as a means of institutional racism and perpetual poverty, I wonder if Mr. Vickers is going to offer to pay for the fines of the jailed protesters. After all, he has now led these people deeper into poverty by inciting them toward the dangerous action of assaulting a supposedly evil police force and attempting to shut down a major interstate near rush hour. Will he help his flock? Will he put his money where his mouth is?
Some House Cleaning
In my last post, Topical 2.0, I referenced a time frame discussed by the two construction workers being quoted in local media as gospel in the last several weeks. It was brought to my attention by DugganPubs in the comments section that I erred in saying that the POST indicated that the timeframe of a conversation between Mike Brown and one of the workers was after the supposed robbery. The following article states that the conversation took place at 11:00 AM which would have been before the robbery. If true, my earlier comment was incorrect.
However, it is interesting to note that the POST is summarizing an interview they conducted and does not directly quote the worker in this case. In the audio interview with the worker on Fox 2 News (which all the correspondents refer to humorously as their name, Fawks *pause* two news) there is no mention of 11AM though the audio is heavily edited.