ST. LOUIS — St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger has issued a state of emergency, a move that authorizes county Police Chief Jon Belmar to take control of police emergency management in and around Ferguson.
Belmar has not said what steps he will take to preserve order, a day after violence broke out during protests on the anniversary of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.
"In light of last night’s violence and unrest in the City of Ferguson, and the potential for harm to persons and property, I am exercising my authority as county executive to issue a state of emergency, effective immediately," Stenger said in a statement. "The recent acts of violence will not be tolerated in a community that has worked so tirelessly over the last year to rebuild and become stronger. The time and investment in Ferguson and Dellwood will not be destroyed by a few that wish to violate the rights of others."
The move comes after shots rang out in Ferguson, including a police-involved shooting.
Police shot and critically wounded one suspect, 18-year-old Tyrone Harris Jr., after he allegedly shot through the windshield of an unmarked police van with four plainclothes officers inside.
The officers were not injured. Harris' father says he believes that his son was unarmed, and he called the police version "a bunch of lies."
Protests have so far been peaceful but there have been several arrests after marchers broke down a barricade in front of a federal courthouse, KTVI reports.
The Associated Press contributed to this report