Justice Department Spokesman Calls Leaks Inappropriate; Protests Continue In Ferguson, Clayton

Oct 22, 2014

Protesters stand on the steps of the St. Louis County Police building.
Credit Emanuele Berry|St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 10 p.m., with evening demonstrations.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Justice is calling leaks in the local  investigation of Michael Brown's death "irresponsible" and "highly troubling."

"There seems to be an inappropriate effort to influence public opinion about this case," Dena Iverson told St. Louis Public Radio in a written statement.

The "selective release of information," according to Iverson, goes as far back as August when footage was released  showing Michael Brown in a conflict at a Ferguson convenience store.

Iverson's comments come after media outlets reported they obtained accounts of witness testimony to the grand jury considering whether to charge Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who shot Brown, and the St. Louis County autopsy report of Brown.

The Justice Department is conducting its own investigations into the case and into the Ferguson police department.

In other developments Wednesday, nearly 40 demonstrators gathered at the St. Louis County Police Headquarters, confronting police inside and demanding the opportunity to speak at a meeting of the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners.

Protestors carried a mirrored coffin to the main entrance of police headquarters, but were told that they could only enter the building through the side door. After chanting and yelling at police in front of the building, protestors eventually made their way inside using the side entrance. The crowd faced off with police in the hallway, yelling questions and chanting.

A police officer who addressed the crowd said the meeting of the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners was no longer taking place.

Police eventually threatened to arrest protestors if they did not leave the building. The crowd dispersed, leaving Clayton and starting a “funeral procession,” which was to stop at the three locations where Michael Brown, Kajieme Powell and Vanderrit Myers Jr. were killed.

A crowd of protesters larger than what the Ferguson community has seen over the past few nights, gathered at the police station in the evening. Demonstrators knocked down metal barriers blocking off the police department parking lot. And that led to a face off between police and protestors.

As the night went on a small group of protestors splintered off and tried to demonstrate in local businesses including the Shop 'n Save and a Walgreens. Protesters were asked to leave and were locked out. Demonstrators tweeting from Ferguson said two arrest were made prior to 10 p.m.

Wednesday’s demonstrations were part of a national call to action. The annual event run by the October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. Protest against police took place in cities across the United States today.

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