Nearly 200 people took to the streets to protest what they believe is the intentional destruction of the memorial, built to commemorate the 18-year-old who was fatally shot by a police officer on Aug. 9, reports the Daily News. Brown’s death and the details surrounding the shooting of an African-American teen by a Caucasian officer created mayhem in the community for weeks and made police brutality front-page news.
Police claim candles were the likely source of the fire that engulfed the makeshift memorial, which was resurrected at the site where Brown was shot.
But residents aren’t buying this excuse and some said they smelled gasoline at the site.
In the midst of the protest, two businesses were damaged. The Beauty Town salon experienced its third break-in since the shooting incident and its windows were smashed this time around. A protester was reportedly heard shouting, “Burn it down!” as several people broke into the business, reports CBS News. The owner of the salon says more than $100,000 worth of merchandise has been stolen from the shop.
Outside of the Whistle Stop and Depot custard shop, a small fire broke out and was contained by the Ferguson Fire Department.
Seven people have been arrested, according to police, who also say four officers had rocks thrown at them and two police cruisers were damaged as a result of the protests. Authorities announced they were canceling the annual Ferguson Music Festival because they fear more violent episodes will take place.