Acts of civil disobedience continued across Ferguson, Missouri, on Monday as hundreds of people demonstrated in the St. Louis area over recent police shootings. More than 50 people were reportedly arrested by St. Louis County police as people gathered outside Ferguson police headquarters as part of a four-day protest called "Ferguson October."
Protesters reportedly attempted to block a major intersection in Ferguson while others disrupted business at a shopping center and three Walmart stores in the region. Protesters also reportedly gathered to demonstrate at Soldiers Memorial Park, while some held a rally outside St. Louis City Hall. A banner reading, “Rams fans know on and off the field black lives matter,” was briefly hung at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, during the second half of the St. Louis Rams game Monday night, the Associated Press, or AP reported.
Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, has witnessed protests since the shooting death of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old unarmed black teen, by a white police officer, Darren Wilson, on Aug. 9. Tensions in the region escalated yet again after another black teen, Vonderrit Myers Jr., 18, was shot and killed by a white off-duty police officer on Oct. 8.
According to police, the second fatal shooting reportedly took place after Myers shot at officer. The incident gave rise to tense confrontations between police and protesters.
Ferguson October, the name given to a number of demonstrations held in response to the shootings of Brown and Myers, was led by civil rights groups, activists, and local and national clergy. Several clergy and activists from across the U.S. also attended the protests.
Civil rights activist Cornel West and Baltimore pastor Jamal H. Bryant were among the protesters arrested in Ferguson on Monday.
In a statement, St. Louis County police reportedly said that 19 people were arrested at two protest sites by early afternoon on Monday. "Moral Monday," as activists called it, reportedly began at Wellspring Church as demonstrators walked to the Ferguson police station in heavy rain with bullhorns to read the names of people killed by police nationwide.
"My faith compels me to be here," Bishop Wayne Smith of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri said, according to AP. "I want to show solidarity, and call attention to the structural racism of St. Louis."
On Monday, protest leader Kennard Williams reportedly revealed a list of four demands to Jeff Rainford, chief of staff for Mayor Francis Slay, at St. Louis City Hall, where about 100 protesters had gathered.
The demands reportedly stated that all police officials should have body cameras; a civil review board should be set up to oversee police actions; cease participation in a program that provides military equipment to police; and, mandate an independent investigation when police kill someone.
Rainford said that St. Louis was not part of a militarization program and promised that the other demands made by the protesters will be considered, AP reported. Slay was reportedly not present in his office Monday.
Ferguson October began Friday with protesters renewing their demands for charges against Wilson.