Clayton, Missouri—Police arrested two protesters on Tuesday during a demonstration outside a government building, adding to a growing list of civil disobedience arrests related to the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, by a police officer earlier this month.
Roughly sixty demonstrators gathered in front of the office building of St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch in Clayton, a wealthy city bordering St. Louis, about ten miles south of Ferguson. On a humid afternoon, the protesters chanted “Black lives matter!” and “Move Bob, get out the way!” A line of police officers guarded the building’s entrance, demarcating a no-walk zone directly in front of them.
Two protesters, Jamelle Spain and Alexis Templeton, peacefully approached the police officers. Officers then placed the two in plastic handcuffs and escorted them into the building. Spain and Templeton were both charged for failing to obey a police officer and will be released, according to a spokesperson for the Clayton Police Department.
Jeffrey Hill, 24, of the Organization for Black Struggle and Rasheed Aldridge, 20, of Show Me 15 protested in Clayton on Tuesday (Photo by Steven Hsieh)
The demonstrators demanded McCulloch step down from the Michael Brown investigation. They also called for the county to appoint an independent investigator to take over Brown’s case. Some residents of St. Louis County say McCulloch harbors a pro-police bias. McCulloch’s father, a police officer, was killed by a black man in 1964. McCulloch also harshly criticized Governor Nixon’s order last week to turn over the Ferguson protest jurisdiction to Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, a move that was praised by community leaders and local politicians.
“We don’t feel like McCulloch can do this accurately. We feel like there’s a lot of emotions tied into everything he does when it comes with dealing with black people,” said Jeffrey Hill, a 24-year-old protester from North St. Louis County. Hill led chants through a megaphone and wore a surgical mask strapped to his head, noting the possibility of tear gas later Tuesday night.
A spokesperson for the county prosecutor’s office declined to comment on the protest. Reports say prosecutors will present evidence to a grand jury on Wednesday, who will decide whether to indict Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot Brown.
The crowd began dispersing around 3:40 pm. As protesters headed across the street to a parking lot, they chanted, “We’ll be back! We’ll be back!”