The Missouri town’s first public meeting since the shooting death of black teenager Michael Brown, 18, killed by a white police officer on August 9, turned chaotic with audience members shouting down Ferguson’s council members.
Despite being held inside of a chapel, Mayor James Knowles had trouble from the start maintaining peace and order during Tuesday’s stormy meeting, which was hoped to be a venue for recommending court and police reform.
Knowles opened the meeting by reciting some of the measures City Council had recommended, including the creation of a Citizen Review Board that would oversee the reform of the Ferguson Police Department, which consists of just three black police officers out of 53.
“We will do everything we can,” Knowles said, as quoted by the New York Times, “to restore a high quality of life for all Ferguson residents.”
But the 600-member audience, who had to pass through police and metal detectors to enter the church, wasn’t buying it. The crowd quickly descended into a cacophony of chaos, with some demanding the arrest of Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Brown following an encounter between the two men.