MO National Guard members to remain in Ferguson another night - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

MO National Guard members to remain in Ferguson another night

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Around midnight the media was told to move to the command center or get arrested. (Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS) Around midnight the media was told to move to the command center or get arrested. (Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS)
Police form a line in front of protestors on Monday night. (Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS) Police form a line in front of protestors on Monday night. (Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS)
Someone with the media being taken into custody in Ferguson on Monday.(Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS) Someone with the media being taken into custody in Ferguson on Monday.(Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS)
These children say they want this to end so they can go to school. (Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS) These children say they want this to end so they can go to school. (Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS)
More arrests being made at the Ferguson McDonald's. (Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS) More arrests being made at the Ferguson McDonald's. (Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS)
FERGUSON, MO (KFVS) -

The Missouri National Guard says they are performing a limited mission to protect the Unified Command Center in Ferguson, Mo.

They say they are protecting it so that law enforcement can continue to protect the people and property of Ferguson.

Missouri National Guard Brig. Gen. Gregory Mason is overseeing the Guard operations in Ferguson under the overall command of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

On Monday night, the National Guard said they successfully carried out their mission to protect the command center, and they will continue to do so on Tuesday night.

Monday night recap

Police used bullhorns to order the crowds to leave and armored vehicles were used to push back demonstrators overnight Monday in Ferguson.

During one confrontation, police fired tear gas and flash grenades.

Authorities say at least two people were shot and 31 people were arrested during the clashes.

National Guard units were sent to Ferguson on Monday, but most of them have been keeping their distance.

"There were numerous reports of shots fired," said Cpt. Ron Johnson with the Missouri State Highway Patrol. "We had two fires: one at a business, and one at an unoccupied residence. In the area of West Florissant Canfield, our officers came under heavy gunfire. Our officer confiscated two guns during a car stop near the media staging area. These are not acts of protesters, but acts of violent criminals."

All the violence was sparked by the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.

Some witnesses say Brown had his hands in the air as Wilson fired the shots. At least two witnesses say Brown attacked Wilson and shoved the officer into his squad car.

An attorneys' group is suing to try to get police records about the shooting.

Police are now asking everyone to protest during the day.

Meantime, the FAA says no flights operating below 3,000 feet over Ferguson for a week, to provide a safe environment for law enforcement activities.

Earlier on Monday, President Obama called for calm in Ferguson after another night of heated demonstrations on Sunday.

Missouri's Governor Jay Nixon called in the National Guard early Monday morning to help restore order in the city. He also announced there would be no curfew on Monday night.

The National Guard will focus on protecting the unified command center, which police say has come under attack.

Attorney General Eric Holder plans to head to Ferguson later this week after briefing President Obama on the federal investigation into Michael Brown's death.

From the eyes of the Heartland News crew

We had crews in Ferguson on Monday on West Florissant Ave. where the majority of the violence and looting have occurred this past week.

This was our first chance to have a first-hand look at what has been going on, and one thing that stood out as we left the interstate into Ferguson on Monday morning: this could be any town in the U.S. and it's not far from Cape Girardeau, Mo. or Carbondale, Ill. The look, the feel, the whole situation seems like it could be happening just about anywhere.

Around midnight in Ferguson, officers told the media to move to the command center or get arrested. They said it wasn't safe.

This was just moments after tear gas was fired in the area.

The protests in Ferguson, Mo. took a turn for the worse around 11 p.m. on Monday when smoke was fired at protestors at Florissant and Chambers.

SWAT moved in on a vehicle.

The Heartland News crew was at the corner of Florissant and Ferguson and about a half-mile down the road there was smoke spewing with dozens of police vehicles headed that way.

At 9:30 p.m. on Monday, protesters on W. Florissant were holding up their hands and chanting. Police were forming a line facing a large group of protesters. They were ordering them to move back.

Our crews saw at least six people being taken into custody, including someone with the media.

More than one thousand people were seen marching on W. Florissant Ave. on Monday night.

A number of protesters say at this point, they're just frustrated. Frustrated because people from the community say there has been racial tension with the police for years. Now, it's come to a tipping point after the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

One woman said she made the trip all the way from California because she said this goes beyond Ferguson, Mo.

"It's happening all over the nation and that's why it's time for it to stop, it's time for a change," Vianna Simmons said. "It continues to happen all over the nation and there's nothing being done about it."

Simmons said she knows all too well what the family of Michael Brown is feeling.

"We're here standing for justice for all families who have lost a loved one," she said.

She was joined by hundreds of protesters who lined the street asking for the same.

The start of school had to be delayed because of concern for the children's safety. Ferguson-Florissant School District has cancelled classes for the rest of the week.

One thing to note, all of the people Heartland News with on Monday have spoken out against violence and looting. They say there are almost two distinct groups in Ferguson: the ones protesting peacefully during the day and those who clash with police at night.

One thing we have not seen, at least in the area we've been in, was any National Guard presence on the streets. It has mostly been St. Louis County Police and Missouri State Highway Patrol

From what we could see on Monday, it also seems police and the highway patrol were very patient with protesters. They're listening to what they have to say and in some cases talking one on one with them.

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