Johnson: Officers to respond in riot gear if necessary

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FERGUSON, MO (KTVI)- Captain Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol says the city of Ferguson doesn't deserve "nights like last night."  In a news conference Wednesday, Johnson said two police officers were injured. One was hit under the eye with a rock.

But he says police will continue to protect the speech, freedom and public safety of the citizens of Ferguson even if it means police responding to the scene in riot gear.

Captain Johnson pointed out that there were many peaceful protestors there and once the violence began, many of them left.  There were also people in the crowd telling unruly individuals to stop what they were doing.

Some unruly demonstrators clashed with police, a business was broken into and another store caught on fire.

Johnson said around midnight, unpeaceful individuals shouted threats at officers about shooting police and burning down the town.   That's when police decided to disperse the crowd.

He also says several people have donated money to help lower the energy bills of people living in the Canfield neighbor and bring businesses into the community.

Johnson also addressed Tuesday's fire at a make-shift memorial for Michael Brown.  While said he didn't believe officers started the fire, he did say he was concerned that someone recorded the fire for 11 minutes instead of getting a cup of water to put the fire out.

Captain Johnson said the path that the situation in Ferguson has taken is undefined and unclear.  " Last night some of the rhetoric we heard had nothing to do with an individual.  It was just about hate, about violence, about taking from another,"  he said.

"No matter what has happened here, we gotta have pride in our community."

Ferguson's Police Chief released this statement about the unrest overnight:

Chief Jackson statement

"Towards the end of the City Council meeting it was reported that multiple gun shots were fired in the Canfield apartments area that intelligence suggest was initiated by misinformation about the fire at one of the Michael Brown memorial.

St. Louis County Police Department, St. Louis City Police Department, the Highway Patrol and other municipal police departments responded to assist with crowd control. At least 2 officers had minor injuries that were sustained from either rocks or bottles thrown by protestors. Several police cars were damaged, 2 businesses were looted, and 5 people were arrested including 1 juvenile.

The City of Ferguson is deeply grateful for the continued support from our law enforcement partners; the St. Louis County Police Department, St. Louis City Police Department, the Highway Patrol and all the municipal police departments. We all need to continue to work together. We understand the frustration of people in our communities and their right to protest, but the violence and damage to property needs to stop."

Here's a Timeline Overnight:

Shooting into dwelling occurred around 18:34 at 526 Coppinger 316 was shot twice. At 20:03 shots fired at 312 Day a shot into the air. Suspect vehicle from Coppinger call was recovered.

At 20:45 a report of shots fired at Canfield and W. Florissant. Then a report of looting at 9135 W. Florissant (Beauty Town) Large scale civil disobedience, shots fired, rocks thrown at officers 4 hit, then a report of Arson at the Whistle a Stop at A23:45.

A small fire at Northwinds at the Versiles Apartments at 01:45. A fire at Fargo S. Dellwood at a light pole. At 02:03 W. Florissant detail 10/9 at 02:26 6 arrest. At 04:42 a report at Ferguson Super Molotov cocktails being thrown into the business. A bay door was broken and one side window.

St. Louis County was handling 14-51780 business full of smoke. News media back on the PD lot. At 05:00 One corrections officer was at the station suffering from chest pains. EMS checked him, vitals were ok and he refused transport.

At 05:54 a stolen vehicle was reported at 1848 Bahamas vehicle taken overnight.

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