Dailies | Watch Police in Ferguson Fire Tear Gas at Demonstrators and Reporters (Video)

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“They’re telling the media to turn off their cameras because they don’t want no f—in’ witnesses”

A reporter covering the Ferguson, Mo., demonstrations over the death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown posted a 25-minute video of police firing tear gas on demonstrators and driving them through a residential neighborhood.

The video from KARG Argus radio has added to widespread complaints that police are making a bad situation worse by overreacting to demonstrators who demand justice and the name of the officer who shot Brown, who was to have started college Monday.

Also read: HuffPost and Washington Post Reporters Detail Assault by Police During Ferguson Arrest

St. Louis County Police referred calls to a spokesman did not answer calls Thursday morning, and his voicemail was full.

The video is jarring and chaotic. The protestors’ frustration is obvious even before the tear gas — they sing about revolution and ignore commands to disperse — but there are no signs of violence. The frustration turns to shock when the gassing begins.

The video begins with the demonstrators chanting, “What do we want? Justice.” At the 2:15 mark, an amplified voice commands, “Please turn off –” followed by something indecipherable. The protestors say the order was for the assembled reporters to turn off their cameras.

Also read: Washington Post and Huffington Post Reporters Arrested Amid Violent Ferguson Protests

“They aren’t turning off no damn cameras, bitch,” one man says into a bullhorn.

Another adds: “They’re telling the media to turn off their cameras because they don’t want no fuckin’ witnesses.”

Four minutes into the video, police give what they say is a final warning to disperse. At the six-minute mark, they use sound cannons emitting piercing noise.At the 7:30 mark, one man among the demonstrators dons a gas mask and helmet. As the police line approaches, demonstrators raise their arms to show they are peaceful. Nine minutes into the video, sparks and smoke erupt, filling the streets.

A woman yells, “Fucking stop throwing stuff at them!,” but it is unclear whether she is yelling at protestors or police. Others yell that they are only peacefully protesting, a constitutional right.

Police have asked protestors to demonstrate only during daylight. But the tear gas followed a day in which police also shut down a local McDonald’s, detaining two reporters in the process. A St. Louis alderman was also jailed Wednesday night and released Thursday morning.

The alderman, Antonio French, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the “heavy-handed” approach was making matters worse. He said neither he nor at least a dozen others taken into custody should have been.

“Inside that jail is nothing but peacekeepers,” he said. “They rounded up the wrong people … reverends, young people organizing the peace effort.”

Watch the video: