Jail Records at Odds With Ferguson Cop’s Claims That Outsiders Causing Trouble

PHOTO: Police officers arrest a man who refused to leave when police in riot gear cleared the area of S. Florissant Road and Church Street in downtown Ferguson, Mo., Aug. 11, 2014.
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People arrested during protests in Ferguson, Missouri, have come from as far away as New York City and California, but the overwhelming majority of those detained for refusing to disperse are from Ferguson and the surrounding area, according to jail records.

Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol, who is in charge of the law enforcement efforts in Ferguson, said this morning that those arrested mainly had come from out of town.

"As I've said, many are a criminal element that have been coming to Ferguson and are not from this area. Tonight some of those arrested came from as far away as New York and California," he said this morning.

Johnson initially said 31 people were arrested overnight, but jail records show that 78 were arrested overnight.

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The town of Ferguson has been roiled with protests since Aug. 9 when Officer Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown at least six times. Brown, 18, was unarmed.

Records from the St. Louis County jail show that the 78 people arrested Monday night included four from Ferguson and eight from neighboring Florissant. Another 10 came from the nearby city of St. Louis, and a smattering from other small towns in St. Louis County. Fifty-three in total were from the St. Louis metro area.

All but three of the arrests Monday night were for refusal to disperse. Two of the individuals charged with unlawful use of a weapon were from the St. Louis area. One out-of-state resident, from Rockton, Ill., was charged with interfering with an officer, according to records provided by St. Louis County jail.

Eighteen of those arrested Monday night were from out of state. Those suspects came from Chicago, Brooklyn, N.Y., California, Washington, D.C., Austin, Texas, other parts of Illinois, Alabama, and Iowa.

Capt. Johnson said today that a "tiny minority" of protesters had been arrested for becoming violent. He could not be immediately reached for further comment on the jail numbers.

About 120 people have been arrested since the start of the protests, according to St. Louis County police.

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