Clashes between law enforcement officers and protestors in Ferguson, Missouri, are in the spotlight regarding protester rights and crowd control by the police.
Anger over the shooting of Michael Brown, has prompted protests combined with looting and vandalism, as police officers in riot gear threw tear gas to scatter the crowd.
Missouri’s Governor, Jay Nixon, said he has plans for operation shifts in dealing with the Ferguson situation.
Courts have taken the view of the First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly to offer protection to protestors taking part in peaceful protests.
Courts respect the on-street action by police. If a protest ends up being violent, officers can respond with proper violence. In certain instances, officers may have the power to utilize deadly force.
Based on the Missouri law, the use of deadly force can be justified if an officer has reasons to believe it’s necessary to make an arrest or prevent an individual from committing a felony, utilizing a harmful weapon, or inflicting serious injury.