St. Louis police officers arrested Hedy Epstein, a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor, Monday afternoon among a small group of protestors. She and at least eight others were taken into custody after marching against the National Guard being dispatched to keep the peace after 11 days of unrest over the fatal police shooting of Mike Brown in nearby Ferguson.
"I've been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn't think I would have to do it when I was 90," Epstein told The Nation during her arrest. "We need to stand up today so that people won't have to do this when they're 90."
— Baumer Kid (@bostonsboy87) August 18, 2014
Epstein was arrested “for failing to disperse,” KMOV reports. The activist and vocal supporter of the Free Gaza movement was also a research analyst for the U.S. prosecution team during the Nuremberg medical trials. Many people reacted on Twitter to the arrest, which comes after days of unrest in the city following the police shooting of 18-year-old Mike Brown on Aug. 9. “She is my hero,” a number of tweeters remarked.
Brown was unarmed when he was shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson, 28, after he allegedly put his hands up during an altercation on a street in the suburban St. Louis town, according to witnesses. Police said they had cause to shoot Brown. Since his death, there has been unrest and violence in Ferguson and other areas of St. Louis. Epstein and about 125 other protestors marched to Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s downtown office on Monday, demanding he withdraw National Guard troops from Ferguson. “National Guard has got to go,” they chanted.
Nixon declared a state of emergency and imposed a midnight curfew after initial protests. He went further on Monday and ordered the National Guard to Ferguson to help restore "peace and order."
"Given these deliberate, coordinated and intensifying violent attacks on lives and property in Ferguson, I am directing the highly capable men and women of the Missouri National Guard to assist ... in restoring peace and order to this community,” he said in a statement.