Photos that define the Ferguson, Mo., protests

75 Photos

After a night of chaos in which police said they used tear gas to disperse crowds after some protesters fired guns and threw Molotov cocktails at police, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon early Monday signed an executive order directing National Guard troops to keep peace in Ferguson.

“Tonight, a day of hope, prayers, and peaceful protests was marred by the violent criminal acts of an organized and growing number of individuals, many from outside the community and state, whose actions are putting the residents and businesses of Ferguson at risk. I join the people of Ferguson, and all Missourians, in strongly condemning this criminal activity,” Nixon said in a statement on his official website.

Hundreds of protesters fled to safety after authorities fired tear gas and canisters of smoke to disperse them hours ahead of a planned midnight curfew in the tense St. Louis suburb where Michael Brown, 18, was shot to death by a police officer on Aug. 9.

Also Sunday night, the New York Times reported that a private autopsy showed that Michael Brown was shot at least 6 times by police.

Citing Dr. Michael M. Baden, former chief medical examiner for the City of New York, the newspaper reported that Brown was shot twice in the head, and that the bullets that hit him did not appear to have been fired from very close range.

COMMENTARY: Riots in Ferguson and what they mean
Hacker group targets cop who shot Missouri teenager
Timeline: The Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Mo.

The crowd of about 400 — nearly doubling since Friday’s protests — appeared to be marching peacefully Sunday but a spokesman for the Missouri Highway Patrol said “aggressors” had advanced on a law enforcement command post.

Earlier last week, Howard University student Megan Sims (@The_Blackness48) tweeted this photo, saying, “Powerful picture we took today at Howard University” — a historically black college in Washington, D.C.; The photo was an embodiment of the peaceful protest, though strong message, they were sending before Ferguson, Mo., turned violent.

– Tribune wire reports