Posted: Wednesday, August 20th 2014 at 7:36am
Latest Ferguson protests are smaller, more subdued
By The Associated Press
A protester holds roses in the air as she marches with others past police officers in Ferguson, Mo., Tuesday night. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Curtis Compton)
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) -- Police and protesters in Ferguson were finally able to share the streets again at night, putting aside for at least a few hours some of the hostility that had filled those hours with tear gas and smoke.
The St. Louis suburb still had plenty of lively protest Tuesday over the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown. And tensions rose briefly when someone hurled a bottle at officers.
But the overall scene was more subdued than the past five nights, with smaller crowds, fewer confrontations and no tear gas. Police said they still made 47 arrests, mainly of people who defied orders to disperse.
The slight easing of tensions came the day before Attorney General Eric Holder was to visit Ferguson to meet with FBI and other officials carrying out an independent federal investigation into Brown's death.
In a letter published late Tuesday on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch website, Holder promised a thorough investigation while calling for an end to the violence in Ferguson. He said the bond of trust between law enforcement and the public is "all-important" but also "fragile."
Arrest patterns "must not lead to disparate treatment under the law, even if such treatment is unintended. And police forces should reflect the diversity of the communities they serve," Holder wrote.
He said the Justice Department would "defend the right of protesters to peacefully demonstrate and for the media to cover a story that must be told."
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