Internet Angrier At Parents Who Took Kids To Ferguson Protest Than Police Who Fired Tear Gas At Them

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The streets of Ferguson, MO became chaotic once again last night, with reports that police were tear gassing children and media. Governor Nixon declared a state of emergency on Saturday night – forcing protestors to leave the streets by midnight or face arrests. Last night, he lowered the curfew to 10:30 pm. It’s been reported that police began aggressive tactics to clear the streets before nine.

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 6.54.51 AMPolice were reportedly responding to what they described as an “attack” on their command center. From The New York Times:

Captain Johnson said that at 8:56 p.m., hundreds of protesters had descended upon the area of the command post. Soon, he said, “multiple Molotov cocktails were thrown at police.” The police responded with tear gas.

Their “response” sent crowds into utter chaos and panic, as protestors had no idea why they were being met with aggression hours before curfew. Many were trapped, with tear gas filling the air around them and no clear way to make their way out of the area.

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Here is a video shot about an hour before police began advancing with aggression:


Many children were there, as families travelled to witness a church rally to honor the life of Michael Brown and support the parents.

Key Smith, 46, a veteran who served in Iraq, said that he, his wife and their 7-year-old son had traveled two hours from Fort Valley, Ga., to attend a church rally to honor Mr. Brown and that they were caught up in the violence as they were trying to get home.

Yes, there are children there. It was hours before the curfew. It was a peaceful protest. Turning anger on the parents, who were well within their rights to be there, protesting peacefully and teaching their kids to protest peacefully, is ridiculous. Protesters had dispersed before curfew the night before with no incident. Many do not agree, turning their judgment on the parents rather than at authorities who would lob tear gas into crowds where they damn well knew children were:

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These parents didn’t bring their kids to a riot, they brought their kids to a protest. Had they had young children on the street after curfew – that would be another story. They didn’t.

No matter, really. The more coverage I see on the terrifying events unfolding in Ferguson, the more one thing is becoming clear – there are those people who think this level of aggression is the appropriate response and those who don’t. It seems we’ll never see eye-to-eye. I can’t understand being an American and being okay with the concept of police telling media to turn off their cameras. I can’t understand being an American and not being okay with people taking to the streets to protest injustice. I can’t understand being American and not understanding parents may want their young children to witness their own struggle – as the events of this weekend and beyond will undoubtedly shape their realities forever.

I do understand one thing though – some of us are on the wrong side of history.

Governor Nixon announced this morning he would be deploying the National Guard to help quell the unrest.