August 18, 2014
St. Louis, Mo. - Attorney General Chris Koster this evening argued in federal court against an ACLU motion filed late Monday for a Temporary Restraining Order to block officers from enforcing a requirement that individuals remain moving unless gathered in an organized protest area. The Missouri State Highway Patrol and the law enforcement agencies operating under their direction have asked protestors to move off the main thoroughfares of Ferguson. The St. Louis County Police Department publically announced a designated protest area established at Ferguson and West Florissant.
After hearing arguments from the ACLU, St. Louis County, and Koster, representing the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Judge Catherine Perry of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri denied the ACLU's motion, clearing the way for law enforcement officers to continue their efforts to protect the people and property of Ferguson.
"The vast majority of protestors we have seen are peaceful," said Koster. "However, law enforcement has repeatedly encountered groups employing violence against officers, businesses, and threatening the citizens of Ferguson. The threat on the Unified Command Center on Sunday evening necessitated the establishment of reasonable measures to protect public safety, including an alternate site for protesters. Peaceful protest will continue, but the violence must stop."
Added Koster, "This restriction is as narrowly tailored as the gunfire and violence along West Florissant Avenue will allow."