The crowd in the streets before the curfew appeared to be much younger than on the previous nights since Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager, was shot to death on Aug. 9 by Darren Wilson, a white police officer. The mood early in the evening was also more antagonistic than it had been on previous nights.
A strange party-like atmosphere took hold in the area around a QuikTrip, the convenience store that was set on fire in the first night of unrest after Brown's death. There was drinking in the street, and the smell of marijuana wafted through the air. The streetlights around the store were out of operation, and most of the camera crews were packing up.
Cars drove down the street playing loud music and doing donuts, with people riding on the roof of one of the cars. Chants of "fuck the police -- we ain't never going home" came from another.
"The mixture is not helpful at all," Rebecca McCloud, a missionary at Son Lake Ministries in East St. Louis who came to Ferguson as a peacekeeper, said. "They're under the influence of something that's going to tell them they're strong."
Things looked peaceful in the early moments of the curfew. Most people had dispersed, likely in part due to rain and community peacekeeping efforts.
But less than an hour after the curfew began, approximately 70 officers formed a line with their shields raised, donned masks, and fired smoke and tear gas at the remaining protesters. Police initially said that they were smoke bombs, but reporters found tear gas canisters, and protesters insisted their eyes burned. Later on, police confirmed to HuffPost that tear gas was used.
"I need answers sir, like for real. I salute you, but ... why did that man get gunned down in cold blood?" the protester asked.
"There's people that are white, Hispanic and Asian, there's a lot of people out here protesting and we're asking for change. It's not just us, it's everybody," Johnson replied.
"We're going to get some answers, I promise you. I promise you," Johnson emphasized. The protester took off his mask in the course of the exchange and identified himself as Jason Ross.