KEY POINTS

  • Four people were arrested following protests in Ferguson, Missouri, on the anniversary of Michael Brown's death
  • Brown's shooting is largely considered the catalyst for the modern Black Lives Matter movement
  • A memorial service was held ahead of the protests and Ferguson Police Chief Jason Armstrong spoke to the crowd in attendance

Protesters clashed with police during weekend protests in Ferguson, Missouri, on the sixth anniversary of the police shooting of Michael Brown, CNN reported. 

Ferguson police said around 100 people gathered in department’s parking lot on Sunday. Police blocked off the street to keep protesters safe while bike barricades were put up to block the crowd from entering the property.

Protests remained peaceful for most of the day, but police said a small group of alleged agitators broke through the barricade despite police warnings. Other protesters threw bottles and other small objects at police monitoring the protest. Some protesters  also were seen ripping off signs from the police’s building and spray-painting surrounding property.

Police ordered the crowd to disperse, resulting in at least four arrests before the scene calmed down.

Sunday’s protests reflect both the ongoing racial tensions heightened by the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, but the lingering tensions in Ferguson since Michael Brown’s death in 2014.

Brown, who was 18 at the time, was killed by a white police officer who said he was acting in self-defense. However, the investigation found Brown was unarmed  and questioned the officer’s claim of self-defense. Brown’s family and other residents have repeatedly called the arrest of the officer, Darren Wilson, though no charges have been brought against him.

The subsequent protests helped spark the Black Lives Matter movement that has endured and only intensified in 2020 following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and other unarmed Black people.

Sunday marked the sixth anniversary of the shooting, and a memorial service was held ahead of the protests. Police Chief Jason Armstrong  was in attendance at the service and spoke about efforts being made to mend the gap between the police and community.

“We are working day in and day out to try to get to the place that we all want to be, where no matter what color you are, no matter what kind of uniform you wear, no matter where you’re from or what you do, you can walk down the street and feel safe,” Armstrong said.

The father of Michael Brown, attending the funeral of his son who was killed by a police officer The father of Michael Brown, attending the funeral of his son who was killed by a police officer Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / JOE RAEDLE