Protests in Ferguson, Missouri, over last year's police killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown ended peacefully on Wednesday morning, law enforcement officials said, marking a contrast with protests earlier in the week that were marred by gunshots, smashed windows and numerous arrests.
St. Louis County officials also said Wednesday that the state of emergency — declared on Monday — would remain in effect for at least 24 more hours.
Tuesday was the first night since Friday to end without arrests, said St. Louis County police spokesman Shawn McGuire. Ferguson, a mainly black St. Louis suburb of 21,000 people, has had months of largely peaceful protests punctuated by nights of rioting, arson and gunfire since police officer Darren Wilson, who is white, fatally shot the 18-year-old Brown on Aug. 9, 2014.
A crowd of several dozen protesters took to West Florissant Avenue, which has borne the brunt of the confrontations, on Tuesday night. Demonstrators occasionally attempted to block traffic and threw rocks at police, but the conflict was defused, and no injuries to civilians or police were reported, county police said early Wednesday.
Larry Miller, 58, an organizer of the protest group Ferguson Freedom Fighters, said it was clear the latest round of demonstrations was dying down. He wasn't convinced much has been accomplished.
"We already know what needs to be happening is not happening," he said. "We're still bothered over the killing of Mike Brown because we still need police reform, criminal justice system reform."