FERGUSON, MO (KPLR) – Protestors cancelled a highway shutdown protest, but it appears some protestors took action anyway. I- 270 at West Florissant was shut down by protestors for a short time around 4:40 pm.
Several drivers also appeared to slow down and stop, in protest, on I-70 near Bermuda. Police responded to an accident in that area at about 4:35 pm. St. Louis County Police also stopped people who were walking on I-70 carrying signs.
Mike Brown`s family asked for a delay in the highway shutdown during an announcement this afternoon at about 1:30pm. Leaders still plan to shut down the highway, but it will reportedly be more organized and planned.
The original idea began over the weekend. It was suggested that protestors turn on their hazard lights and stop on the highway for four and a half minutes to symbolize the four and a half hours Mike Brown remained on the ground after a Ferguson police officer shot and killed him.
One possible date for the new highway shutdown is September 10th. Activist Eric Vickers wrote President Barack Obama about that possibility. Activist Zaki Baruti, with the Universal African Peoples Organization, confirmed that as a possible date for action. Baruti said, 'We`ll be looking at that proposal by Eric. Eric is a very strong member of our community, the civil rights and human rights struggle in the area. I`ll personally probably support that cause and ask others to support it.'
Plenty of people appear to be ready to answer the call, like Sherhonda Golden. Golden said, 'I would definitely stop and I would do it as my form of protest coming from myself to symbolize that this is the mark we`re trying to make and we want to keep trying to do any kind of protest we can to bring attention and awareness to basically getting anyone`s body from out from laying on the ground for that period of time.'
Baruti says they have five demands, including the immediate termination of the Ferguson officer who shot Mike Brown and for him to be charged with murder. He said, 'As of now, not one demand has been met and that`s why we`ve got this ongoing tension. We`re saying that leadership just do the right thing.'
Police were concerned about serious and potentially deadly accidents from a protest where people are stopping on a highway.
In 1999, activists shut down I-70 to demand hiring of more minorities by contractors and it was organized in such a way that police had enough advance notice and specific details that they could safely divert traffic.
Eric Vickers, who was part of that 1999 protest, walked the area around Lucas and Hunt and I-70 this afternoon, doing research about where they might organize the shutdown. Vickers told me it looked like a good spot for the planned shutdown he`s proposing for September 10th.