Photos: What a Militarized Police Force Does to a City

Melted flash bang canisters, trash cans that emit tear gas into the air, and a town scared for its population.

A demonstrator holds out canisters found on the street in St. Louis, Mo. One appears to be a rubber ball casing, while the other is too charred to identify. 
National Journal
Reena Flores
Aug. 14, 2014, 6:13 a.m.

FER­GUSON, MO.””This town looks like a war zone.

Of­ficers from 15 dif­fer­ent de­part­ments around the state were called in to po­lice the demon­stra­tions. They came equipped with tear gas, flash bombs, and ar­mored vehicles.

+ A demon­strat­or, protest­ing the shoot­ing death of teen­ager Mi­chael Brown, scrambles for cov­er as po­lice fire tear gas on Aug. 13, 2014, in Fer­guson, Mo. (Scott Olson/Getty Im­ages)

And guns.

+ (Scott Olson/Getty Im­ages)

Lots of guns.

+ Po­lice stand watch as demon­strat­ors protest the shoot­ing death of teen­ager Mi­chael Brown on Aug. 13, 2014. in Fer­guson, Mo. (Scott Olson/Getty Im­ages)

But what does Fer­guson look like after a mil­it­ar­ized po­lice force dis­perses the crowd?

Whole in­ter­sec­tions re­mained cor­doned off, even after many of the demon­strat­ors had scattered.

Po­lice of­ficers pre­ven­ted mem­bers of the press, in­clud­ing re­port­ers from Na­tion­al Journ­al, from walk­ing past po­lice bar­ri­cades on the side­walks.

+ (Reena Flores/Na­tion­al Journ­al)

Rem­nants of tear gas pol­luted the air along West Floris­sant Av­en­ue, the main street in Fer­guson where most of the protests have taken place. It be­came dif­fi­cult to breathe as we came with­in 20 feet of this trash can.

+ Clouds of tear gas from a trash bin fill the air. (Reena Flores/Na­tion­al Journ­al)

Al Jaz­eera Amer­ica tele­vi­sion crews were forced to evac­u­ate their area when tear gas can­is­ters went off near their vehicle. Po­lice then pushed down the crew’s light kits and faced their cam­era down­wards at the grass.

{{ BIZOBJ (video: 5166) }}

After the flash bombs went off, pro­test­ers would pick up the hot can­is­ters from the streets.

+ A demon­strat­or ex­plains where he found the re­mains of what ap­pears to be the top of a tear-gas can­is­ter.(Reena Flores/Na­tion­al Journ­al) + A demon­strat­or holds out can­is­ters found on the street in St. Louis, Mo. One ap­pears to be a rub­ber ball cas­ing, while the oth­er is too charred to identi­fy. (Reena Flores/Na­tion­al Journ­al) + A pro­test­er holds a rub­ber pel­let can­is­ter found on the street in St. Louis, Mo. (Reena Flores)

The macabre souven­irs served as re­mind­ers of what a po­lice force can do to a city when equipped with all the trap­pings of a de­ployed army. 

+ An ar­mored vehicle from the St. Louis County Po­lice De­part­ment rushes away from the site of protests in St. Louis, Mo. (Reena Flores/Na­tion­al Journ­al)

Mis­souri Gov. Jay Nix­on is ex­pec­ted to vis­it St. Louis County on Thursday fol­low­ing the protests. But it’s clear it will take some time for the city’s wounds””both vis­ible and in­vis­ible””to heal.

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