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Jake Tapper on Ferguson Police: 'This Doesn't Make Any Sense.' Jake Tapper on Ferguson Police: 'This Doesn't Make Any Sense.'

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Jake Tapper on Ferguson Police: 'This Doesn't Make Any Sense.'

Here's what happened Monday night in Ferguson.

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Demonstrators protesting the shooting death of Michael Brown chant, 'Hands up, don't shoot,' on Aug. 18, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Monday night in Ferguson didn't start off as chaotically as Sunday, but that doesn't mean it was quiet.

After relative peace following the arrest (and subsequent release) of Getty photographer Scott Olson, a stand-off formed late Monday between police and protesters after water bottles were thrown from the crowd. The result was tense, as livestreams and news crews on the scene showed.

 

CNN's Jake Tapper relayed some of that tension on his live broadcast.

'This Doesn't Make Any Sense'

"Nobody is threatening anything," Tapper said a little after 11 PM ET. "Nobody is doing anything. None of the stores here that I can see are being looted. There is no violence."

 

Then Tapper directed his camera toward the police force. "These are armed police. With machine—not machine guns—semiautomatic rifles, with batons, with shields, many of them dressed for combat. Now why they're doing this, I don't know. Because there is no threat going on here. None that merits this."

He continued to compare the scene to Afghanistan. "There is nothing going on on this street right now that merits this scene out of Bagram. Nothing. So if people wonder why the people of Ferguson, Missouri are so upset, this is part of the reason. What is this? This doesn't make any sense."

Just after midnight, stun grenades and tear gas were fired by police, as shown on CNN and other news outlets. CNN played the deployment live on air, which you can see here:

Ferguson Police Deploy Stun Grenades

 

Tapper said that the deployment came after he heard the sound of bottles breaking. Police also told CNN that shots had been fired, and that Molotov cocktails had been thrown. The St. Louis County police department later tweeted photos of weapons confiscated from protesters, including a Molotov cocktail and a handgun. The Washington Post corroborates, writing in its Tuesday front page story "young men pull dark scarves up over their mouths and lob Molotov cocktails at police from behind makeshift barricades built of bricks and wood planks."

CNN's cameras caught a person identified by Tapper as a photographer suffering after being hit by tear gas:

Tear Gas Victim in Ferguson

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The freelance photographer later joined CNN and, while he was relatively recovered, said he had felt like he was drowning.

Early Tuesday morning, The Incercept said in a statement that one of their reporters, Ryan Devereaux, was arrested and detained by police after being shot with rubber bullets and beanbags. As Intercept editor-in-chief John Cook puts it, "When they were shot at, they had their hands raised in the air and were shouting, '"Press! Press! Press!'" Devereaux spent the night in jail, and tweeted that he was released Tuesday morning.

Just before 1 a.m. ET, police asked any remaining protesters to leave the area, and then advanced on the crowd and began arresting people. According to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, there were 31 arrests, and two people were shot during the night (the paper reports police officers were not involved in the shootings). At 2:30 a.m. Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ronald Johnson, who is in charge of security in Ferguson, held a press conference and told reporters "Our officers came under heavy fire," but "not a single bullet was fired by officers." According to The Post-Dispatch, Johnson told reporters they were interfering with police work and placing themselves in danger. "Let's not glamorize the acts of criminals," he told the reporters. To explain media arrests, Johnson said, according to CBS St. Louis, that it can be difficult to tell reporters apart from protesters. 

An officer then told the CNN crew on the scene that the area was no longer safe for the broadcast team, and that there was a gunshot victim in the vicinity. You can watch this happen here:

Police Move In

It wasn't immediately clear what danger the press crew was in. "A huge police presence for a very small number of protesters," Tapper said. Soon after this was broadcast, CNN's crew packed up and left the area.

Don't Miss Today's Top Stories

Excellent!"

Rick, Executive Director for Policy

Concise coverage of everything I wish I had hours to read about."

Chuck, Graduate Student

The day's action in one quick read."

Stacy, Director of Communications

I find them informative and appreciate the daily news updates and enjoy the humor as well."

Richard, VP of Government Affairs

Chock full of usable information on today's issues. "

Michael, Executive Director

Sign up form for the newsletter
 
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