State senator had loaded gun at time of arrest, police suspected intoxication

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FERGUSON, MO (KTVI) Missouri state senator Jamilah Nasheed is out of jail after being arrested during protests in Ferguson Monday night. Senator Nasheed says she wanted to get arrested to send a strong message to protesters.

When she was taken into custody, police say they smelled alcohol on her breath and found a loaded gun in her possession.

Nasheed, and 22-year old Jelfonte Nelson were protesting in the middle of the street Monday night across from the Ferguson police department. When they refused repeated orders from law enforcement officers to get on the sidewalk, they were arrested.

“I went to jail with the hope of wanting those protesters to see peaceful protest and civil disobedience without being violent,” Nasheed told FOX 2’s Shirley Washington. “We're out here fighting for justice for Michael Brown. We don't need individuals protesting in a negative manner.”

More coverage: Senator Nasheed released from jail; says her arrest was a message to protesters

The pair was taken to the St. Ann police department where they were searched before being placed in a jail cell.

During a search incidental to the arrest, the senator had in her possession one fully loaded nine millimeter semi automatic pistol and eight rounds of 9mm ammunition,” said Ferguson Police Department Officer Tim Zoll.

Nasheed explained, “People every single day threaten me about this Michael Brown killing and so it's not unusual for me to have my gun on me. I have it with me every single day. It’s like putting on my shoes.”

Police say Nasheed did not have a conceal carry permit for the weapon when she was taken into custody. However, she told FOX 2 that she had one with her and then produces it.

“If she had a conceal and carry permit, I’m sure she would have shown it to the officer,” said Officer Zoll.

“They didn't ask to see it,” countered Nasheed. “And then they came up with these lies saying I was intoxicated.”

Officer Zoll explaiened, “According to the officers on the scene the senator had a very strong smell of an intoxicant at the time of her arrest.”

When police asked Nasheed to take a breathalyzer test, she refused.

“I said no. Why should I? I'm not intoxicated. I don't need to have a breathalyzer.”

After posting $600 bond, Nasheed was released from jail.

Nasheed and Nelson are charged with misdemeanors of Failure to Comply and Manner of Walking in the Roadway. Police say Nasheed's gun was seized for safe keeping and will be forwarded to the St. Louis County Police firearms section for test firing, which is routine protocol.

More coverage: Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed arrested in Ferguson overnight

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