FERGUSON, MO (KPLR) - Ferguson city leaders tried to promote a message of unity in the community, while protestors reported getting assaulted Saturday at the busy Ferguson Farmers Market.
"Arrest Darren Wilson! Arrest Darren Wilson!”
Protestors shouted while walking through the popular market on the busy shopping morning. They moved their demonstration from West Florissant Avenue, where the white Ferguson officer shot and killed the unarmed and black 18-year-old Michael Brown on August 9, 2014. This time, the protestors were inside the popular outdoor Ferguson Farmers Market on South Florissant Road.
Just a few miles away, food pantry volunteers said they were making progress in showing that Ferguson was a diverse yet united community. From five sites throughout Ferguson, including the market, they collected toiletries and pet food.
"People really need these things,” said volunteer Joan DeWitt. “They can't get them with their food stamps, because that's for food."
Latoya Brady watched her 11-year-old son Aaron haul in canned goods.
“I feel great to help my community,” he said.
Just across the parking lot, residents tried out the new community center.
"Now, we have somewhere to go and enjoy, relax and come together as a group in Ferguson,” smiled Betty Wainwright. “To let everyone know that we love Ferguson."
But at the market, protestors said people inside the market attacked.
"Apparently, one man -- we have a description of him,” said a man who introduced himself a member of the New Black Panther Party. “One man took it upon himself to assault a woman."
A boy with the group of protestors said someone hit him the face. The adults asked him if he thought the strike was an accident.
"It was too hard to be an accident,” he said.
Protestors yelled at Ferguson Chief Tom Jackson in the middle of the market, demanding to file charges.
"We've got an officer taking a statement right now."
Mayor Kames Knowles tried to keep the focus on the toiletry drive and community center. He said he was not frustrated that his message was being drowned out by the protestors surrounding him and yelling for Officer Wilson’s arrest.
"It just takes patience. It does.”