As police began to push back a crowd of angry protestors in Ferguson Monday night, Missouri State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal – whose district includes the township – was there among them.
“It’s getting rowdy and it’s not even dark yet,” the University City Democrat posted on Twitter on Monday evening.
Monday marked the second night of angry demonstrations following the shooting of an unarmed teen over the weekend by an officer with the Ferguson Police Department.
About 20 minutes after that first post, Chapelle-Nadal sent an ominous series of Tweets: “Tear gas starting,” “kids are running,” “cops shooting,” “tanks out.”
— Robert Cohen (@kodacohen) August 11, 2014
The day had featured icy confrontations between the predominantly black demonstrators and the predominantly white law enforcement officials in a suburban community where the scar being strained by years of racial tension finally appeared to break open.
Police Monday night said they began to push protestors back after they threatened to overturn cars near a QuikTrip rioters burned down the night before. Their aim with rubber bullets and tear gas did not to discriminate between protestors, journalists, and in this case, state lawmakers.
“We can’t breathe,” Chappelle-Nadal wrote about 20 minutes after the police began their operation. “I’m shaking. Kids can’t breathe.”
Chappelle-Nadal was with the protestors throughout the day. At one point, she brought out a sign depicting the face of Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon with the phrase, “M.I.A. Again,” written on his forehead. Earlier in the year, Nixon vetoed a bill she had pushed aiming to address the school transfers crisis plaguing her district and the St. Louis region.
“This is your governor that could care less about the black community,” she chanted at a protest outside the Ferguson police headquarters earlier in the day.