Ferguson Police: Officer who suffered broken nose during protests returns to work

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FERGUSON, MO (KPLR) - The police officer who was injured during protests in Ferguson Sunday has returned to work.

The officer, 24, was assaulted as demonstrators gathered outside the Ferguson Market on West Florissant Avenue.

The St. Louis County Prosecutor’s Office charged Alecia Rhone, 25, of St. Ann with third degree assault and resisting/interfering with an arrest, both felonies.

Rhone struck the officer in the face, breaking his nose, police said.

The officer insisted he remain on duty, Ferguson Police Chief Delrish Moss said.

“He wanted to still stay out there. Because he knew that other police officers were out there. He knew there were other citizens out there who were counting on them,” Moss said.  “I’ve had a broken nose. It does not feel good. And I could not have endured that sort of pain. One of the reasons he got treatment is because he was ordered to. He had to be ordered to do it.”

The officer returned to duty soon after he was treated at the hospital.

Crowds gathered outside the Ferguson Market & Liquor Sunday evening after footage was released from a documentary profiling the Michael Brown case.

The video has sparked controversy over what transpired in the hours before Brown was shot and killed in 2014.

The market disputes the claim by the documentary’s maker that Brown made an exchange or drugs for soda and other merchandise.

The assault wasn’t the only violent incident that night, police said.

A man was charged with attempting to set a St. Louis County Police car on fire.

Several shots were also fired, police said. No one was injured.

“[I’m] surprised but not surprised – that’s probably the best way to describe what happened. Obviously, people in this community and surrounding communities still have raw emotions about what happened in this community a couple of years ago,” Moss said.

Moss added that he supports the public’s First Amendment right to freedom of speech. But added that protestors who commit violence are putting lives in danger.

“They’re putting citizens in harm’s way. And if they claim to be on the side of those who have a grievance, then you know what? If you’re the type of person who is on my side, then I don’t want you on my side, because you don’t care, who gets hurt,” he said.