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By Lisa Brown and Tim Bryant, St. Louis Post-Dispatch (TNS)

FERGUSON, Mo. — A peaceful day of protest and remembrance dissolved into chaos late Sunday when a man fired multiple shots at four St. Louis County plainclothes detectives in an SUV. The detectives fired back and the shooter was struck, said county Police Chief Jon Belmar. He was in critical condition.

Tyrone Harris identified the victim as his son, Tyrone Harris Jr., 18, of St. Louis. Harris said shortly after 3 a.m. that his son had just gotten out of surgery.

He said his son graduated from Normandy High School in St. Louis and that he and Michael Brown Jr. “were real close.”

“We think there’s a lot more to this than what’s being said,” Harris Sr. said.

In a 2:30 a.m. press conference, Belmar said there is a “small group of people out there that are intent on making sure we don’t have peace that prevails.

“We can’t sustain this as a community,” he said.

Belmar said two groups of people exchanged gunfire on the west side of West Florissant Avenue at the same time the shooting took place, shortly after 11 p.m. Shots were heard for 40-50 seconds, Belmar said. “It was a remarkable amount of gunfire,” he said.

The people doing the shooting “were criminals,” Belmar said. “They were not protesters.”

Investigators recovered a 9 mm Sig Sauer that had been stolen in Cape Girardeau, Belmar said.

Protesters had blocked West Florissant Avenue north of Ferguson Avenue, and the detectives were tracking a man they believed was armed, along with several of his acquaintances, whom they also thought were armed.

In a chaotic scene, police officers, reporters and protesters ran for cover. People sprinted across the street and dived behind parked cars.

The four detectives, who have six to 12 years of experience, will be placed on administrative leave, a standard practice after a police-involved shooting. They were not wearing body cameras, Belmar said.

A coalition calling itself the Ferguson Action Council criticized St. Louis County for putting plainclothes officers without body cameras in Ferguson. The coalition includes the Don’t Shoot Coalition, Hands Up United, Organization for Black Struggle and others. In a news release Monday morning, the coalition said in part: “After a year of protest and conversation around police accountability, having plain clothes officers without body cameras and proper identification in the protest setting leaves us with only the officer’s account of the incident, which is clearly problematic.”

Ferguson’s interim police chief, Andre Anderson, had just finished a television interview saying officers were placed throughout the community to protect businesses, and he was hoping to be patient and allow the protesters to march peacefully.

The law enforcement officers had threatened to arrest protesters who stayed in the street. Protesters by then were estimated at fewer than 100 and were outnumbered by members of the media, observers said.

Early Monday morning, police warned those gathered by Canfield that they needed to disperse or police could use “chemical munitions” against them. Smoke bombs appeared to be fired at about 2 a.m.

At 2:15 a.m., two teenagers were shot in a drive-by shooting near the Michael Brown Jr. memorial on Canfield Drive. The victims, ages 17 and 19, were hospitalized and expected to survive. The gunman was riding in a passenger car and opened fire on them, police say.

Three St. Louis County police officers were injured Sunday night or early Monday while working in Ferguson, authorities said. Two were pepper-sprayed by protesters while a third was hit in the face by a rock thrown at him. That officer was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Two unmarked police vehicles were damaged by gunfire and one unmarked vehicle was damaged in a minor accident. Four arrests were made early Monday. One was a man now facing weapons charges. Three were people accused of interfering with police.

The violence came exactly one year after the police shooting of Michael Brown. But the day was mostly peaceful with about 1,000 people gathering at the spot in the Canfield Green apartment complex before embarking on a “silent march” with Brown’s family members up West Florissant Avenue.

“We came because it’s still needed,” said Dumine DePorres, who was among a group of 15 people who traveled from Detroit for Ferguson-related events this weekend. “We need to start some conversations that are not just one way, about justice,” he said.

(Steve Giegerich, Walker Moskop and Paul Hampel of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.)

(c)2015 St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Photo: Police take cover behind cars on Aug. 9, 2015 in Ferguson, Mo., as the one-year anniversary of the shooting death of Michael Brown draws crowds for protests. A man was shot by police after he fired at officers, police say. (Photo by Marcus DiPaola/NurPhoto/Sipa USA/TNS)

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Mark Meadows

Donald Trump’s White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows wanted a presidential pardon. He had facilitated key stages of Trump’s attempted 2020 coup, linking the insurrectionists to the highest reaches of the White House and Congress.

But ultimately, Meadows failed to deliver what Trump most wanted, which was convincing others in government to overturn the 2020 election. And then his subordinates, White House security staff, thwarted Trump’s plan to march with a mob into the Capitol.

Meadows’ role has become clearer with each January 6 hearing. Earlier hearings traced how his attempted Justice Department takeover failed. The fake Electoral College slates that Meadows had pushed were not accepted by Congress. The calls by Trump to state officials that he had orchestrated to “find votes” did not work. Nor could Meadows convince Vice-President Mike Pence to ignore the official Electoral College results and count pro-Trump forgeries.

And as January 6 approached and the insurrection began, new and riveting details emerged about Meadow’s pivotal role at the eye of this storm, according to testimony on Tuesday by his top White House aide, Cassidy Hutchinson.

Meadows had been repeatedly told that threats of violence were real. Yet he repeatedly ignored calls from the Secret Service, Capitol police, White House lawyers and military chiefs to protect the Capitol, Hutchinson told the committee under oath. And then Meadows, or, at least White House staff under him, failed Trump a final time – although in a surprising way.

After Trump told supporters at a January 6 rally that he would walk with them to the Capitol, Meadows’ staff, which oversaw Trump’s transportation, refused to drive him there. Trump was furious. He grabbed at the limousine’s steering wheel. He assaulted the Secret Service deputy, who was in the car, and had told Trump that it was not safe to go, Hutchinson testified.

“He said, ‘I’m the f-ing president. Take me up to the Capitol now,’” she said, describing what was told to her a short while later by those in the limousine. And Trump blamed Meadows.

“Later in the day, it had been relayed to me via Mark that the president wasn’t happy that Bobby [Engel, the driver] didn’t pull it off for him, and that Mark didn’t work hard enough to get the movement on the books [Trump’s schedule].”

Hutchinson’s testimony was the latest revelations to emerge from hearings that have traced in great detail how Trump and his allies plotted and intended to overturn the election. Her eye-witness account provided an unprecedented view of a raging president.

Hutchinson’s testimony was compared to John Dean, the star witness of the Watergate hearings a half-century ago that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon for his aides’ efforts to spy on and smear Democrats during the 1972 presidential campaign.

“She IS the John Dean of the hearings,” tweeted the Brooking Institution’s Norman Eisen, who has written legal analyses on prosecuting Trump. “Trump fighting with his security, throwing plates at the wall, but above all the WH knowing that violence was coming on 1/6. The plates & the fighting are not crimes, but they will color the prosecution devastatingly.”

Meadows’ presence has hovered over the coup plot and insurrection. Though he has refused to testify before the January 6 committee, his pivotal role increasingly has come into view.

Under oath, Hutchinson described links between Meadows and communication channels to the armed mob that had assembled. She was backstage at the Trump’s midday January 6 rally and described Trump’s anger that the crowd was not big enough. The Secret Service told him that many people were armed and did not want to go through security and give up their weapons.

Trump, she recounted, said “something to the effect of, ‘I don’t f-ing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the mags [metal detectors] away. Let the people in. They can march to the Capitol from here.

As the day progressed and the Capitol was breached, Hutchison described the scene at the White House from her cubicle outside the Oval Office. She repeatedly went into Meadows’ office, where he had isolated himself. When Secret Service officials urged her to get Meadows to urge Trump to tell his supporters to stand down and leave, he sat listless.

“He [Meadows] needs to snap out of it,” she said that she told others who pressed her to get Meadows to act. Later, she heard Meadows repeatedly tell other White House officials that Trump “doesn’t think they [insurrectionists] are doing anything wrong.” Trump said Pence deserved to be hung as a traitor, she said.

Immediately after January 6, Hutchinson said that Trump’s cabinet discussed invoking the 25th Amendment to remove a sitting president but did not do so. She also said that Meadows sought a pardon for his January 6-related actions.

Today, Meadows is championing many of the same election falsehoods that he pushed for Trump as a senior partner at the Conservative Partnership Institute (CPI), a right-wing think tank whose 2021 annual report boasts of “changing the way conservatives fight.”

His colleagues include Cleta Mitchell, a lawyer who pushed for Trump to use every means to overturn the election and leads CPI’s “election integrity network,” and other Republicans who have been attacking elections as illegitimate where their candidates lose.

Hutchinson’s testimony may impede Meadows’ future political role, as it exposes him to possible criminal prosecution. But the election-denying movement that he nurtured has not gone away. CPI said it is targeting elections in national battleground states for 2022’s midterms, including Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

Trump did not give Meadows a pardon. But in July 2021, Trump’s “Save America” PAC gave CPI $1 million.

Steven Rosenfeld is the editor and chief correspondent of Voting Booth, a project of the Independent Media Institute. He has reported for National Public Radio, Marketplace, and Christian Science Monitor Radio, as well as a wide range of progressive publications including Salon, AlterNet, The American Prospect, and many others.

Tina Peters

YouTube Screenshot

A right-wing conspiracy theorist who was indicted in March on criminal charges of tampering with voting machines to try to prove former President Donald Trump's lies of a stolen 2020 presidential election on Tuesday lost the Republican primary to run for secretary of state of Colorado, the person who oversees its elections.

With 95 percent of the vote counted, Tina Peters, the clerk and recorder of Mesa County, Colorado, was in third place, trailing the winner, fellow Republican Pam Anderson, 43.2 percent to 28.3 percent.

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