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Missouri State Sen. Nasheed Released from Jail After ‘Symbolic’ Arrest

Missouri State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed walked out of jail Tuesday and told a gathering of reporters that her arrest Monday evening in Ferguson was a “symbolic” act to promote peaceful protest.

Nasheed was arrested shortly after 8:30 p.m. when she walked into South Florissant Road outside the Ferguson police station and refused to return to the curb. She spent the night in the St. Ann jail, and was released about 10:50 a.m. Tuesday after someone posted her $600 bond in Ferguson.

“I wanted to send a message to all the protesters that we have a long road ahead of us these next three weeks,” Nasheed said, apparently referring to estimates for when the St. Louis County Grand Jury might return a finding in the shooting death Aug. 9 of Michael Brown, 18, by a Ferguson police officer. “It’s OK to protest, it’s OK to exercise your First Amendment rights, it’s OK to go to jail for a cause, but it’s not OK to destroy communities.

“It’s not OK to burn down businesses,” she continued. “It’s not OK to protest violently in the name of Michael Brown. We all want justice, but we don’t want violent protests.”

Some protesters had grumbled about Nasheed showing up Monday night and being arrested in short order. They said that they have been protesting nightly at the station and avoiding arrest by following police instructions.

“Everyone is going to criticize, but I had a message to deliver,” Nasheed said of the criticism.

Nasheed stood with her lawyer, Eric Vickers, and protest leader Anthony Shahid as she spoke to reporters in the St. Ann police parking lot.

Nasheed spent the night in the St. Ann jail through an agreement with Ferguson, which is renovating its own jail.

Ferguson Chief Thomas Jackson said Nasheed had a 9 mm handgun in her possession when she was arrested. Nasheed, who says she has a concealed carry permit, told the Post-Dispatch she always carries her gun.



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