Following another night of violent confrontation between police and protesters on Sunday, Governor Jay Nixon has ordered the Missouri National Guard "to help restore peace and order and to protect the citizens of Ferguson."
The decision came shortly after the midnight-to-5:00 a.m. curfew went into effect, with police continuing to their efforts to maintain order after another chaotic night.
The demonstrations in response to the shooting of Michael Brown entered their second week on Sunday, and showed no sign of de-escalating anytime soon.
Shortly after 1:00 a.m. local time, Captain Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Police held a press conference to recap the evening that he says "took a very different turn after dark." Johnson said there Molotov cocktails, shootings, looting, vandalism, and other incidents that went beyond spontaneous to coordinated "premeditated criminal acts," intended to provoke a response.
Johnson added that a civilian was shot around 8:30 p.m., and that shots were fired at police around the same time. Around 9:00 "hundreds" of people marched on police command center, with some reports of Molotov cocktails being thrown at police. That was followed by looting of several local businesses nearby, including the local McDonald's. Johnson says he had no alternative than to "elevate the level of our response." The elevation included the return of tear gas and the use of rubber bullets. All of this happened before the curfew went into effect.
Shortly after Johnson's press conference, Nixon's office announced the activation of the National Guard.
You can read our earlier updates below:
Though police officers in Ferguson, Missouri issued a curfew over the weekend (which does not take effect until midnight local time) the situation has once more turned militant, complete with violence and threats to journalists on the scene.
SHOCKING DEVELOPMENT: Police officer in #Ferguson threatened to shoot a journalist in the face. Was heard live by thousands on a live stream— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) August 18, 2014
While protesters deal with police force for another evening, a small contingent gathered in St. Louis earlier on Sunday to show their support for officer Darren Wilson. Wilson is the officer who shot and killed Brown. His name was released late last week after pressure mounted on the police force. Since the incident, Wilson seems to have fled town. Any attempts to contact him have been in vain, including that of The Wire.
Some of these protesters sold shirts in benefit of Wilson, which sold out:
T-shirts on sale with police-style badge saying "Officer Darren Wilson - I stand by you". $7, just sold out pic.twitter.com/nhXhn4Nvmd— Jon Swaine (@jonswaine) August 17, 2014
Back in Ferguson, there were reports of police officers threatening journalists on the scene:
The McDonald's where two journalists were arrested last week has had its windows broken, though it remains base camp for some of the reporters on location. Reports also show it is now being looted. Police officers were seen approaching the location with tear gas.
Another journalist, Robert Klemko with Sports Illustrated, was briefly arrested by Captain Ron Johnson, the State Police officer in charge of the response:
Capt Johnson is now arresting us.— Robert Klemko (@RobertKlemko) August 18, 2014
Klemko was arrested along with two other reporters. After pleading their case to the captain on the street that they had followed all directions, they were freed. Johnson cut off their zip ties and attempted to keep the pieces, but Klemko held onto the remnants:
When they cut cuffs off minutes later, I held onto it. Johnson tried to take it. I said "it's a ferguson souvenir." pic.twitter.com/89t6G49FId— Robert Klemko (@RobertKlemko) August 18, 2014
Reporters have also allegedly faced racial discrimination from police officers, as white journalists were given access to certain areas, while African American reporters were turned away:
Earlier, police claimed shots were fired within the city limits. However, the officers later retracted this claim when they determined the sound was fireworks being set off. Later more reports of gunfire came in. Police are currently headed to investigate.
As the protest grows and spreads, the Ferguson area has become increasingly packed with police. SBNation's Travis Hughes created this map to show how the protest has moved:
With the curfew approaching, the aggression between police officers and protesters has increased:
A dead body was been spotted in area, however, it is unclear if the death was related to police activity or a car accident:
I'm looking at what appears to be a dead body in the middle of Chambers— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) August 18, 2014
The street on which Brown was shot has been blocked off:
An Amnesty International team is headed to Ferguson:
Amnesty International just announced they've sent a human rights team to #Ferguson, the first time they've done that in the US.— Samuel Oakford (@samueloakford) August 18, 2014
At 11:56 p.m. local time, with the curfew just minutes away, police officers urged protesters to go home. However, protesters have remained in the streets. The police sounded blasts.
Police telling protestors to go home but people are not leaving. Five minutes before curfew goes into effect. #Ferguson— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) August 18, 2014
Moments after the curfew began, at midnight local time, shots were heard in Ferguson. Officers are working to contain a group of remaining protesters.
Curfew has started and I just heard gunshots. #Ferguson— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) August 18, 2014