Speed Reads

Ferguson

Police in Ferguson call Tuesday night's lower-key protests 'a turning point'

There were sporadic clashes on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning in Ferguson, Missouri, but the protests were mostly peaceful, smaller than before, and Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson called the night "a turning point" in the 10 days of protests sparked by the police shooting of Michael Brown.

This is Johnson's definition of "turning point," delivered at a press conference early Wednesday: "We had to respond to fewer incidents than the night before. There were no Molotov cocktails tonight. There were no shootings." There were 47 arrests, however, and police seized three loaded handguns during the protests. "Criminals and agitators" threw glass and plastic bottles, some filled with urine, at police, Johnson added. And police sometimes responded with blasts of pepper spray.

Police and state officials blame the violence during the protests largely on agitators from other cities and states, mostly young men — one guy booked Monday is from Austin, and this was his third arrest of the protest, Johnson noted — but arrest records show that most of the people detained during the protests are from Ferguson and elsewhere in St. Louis County, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.