April V Taylor
Missouri state senator Jamilah Nasheed was arrested by Ferguson police for blocking traffic outside of the Ferguson police department. It was also reported that Nasheed refused bond and spent the night in jail. While it appears as though her act of civil disobedience was meant to show solidarity with peaceful protestors, many who have been on the front lines ridiculed Nasheed for the events surrounding her arrest.
As she was taken into custody, Nasheed chanted “No justice!” as a few protesters answered back with “No peace.” Others stood by and refused to join the chant. Nasheed feels that her arrest was “symbolic” and meant to send a message that protesters did not have to be violent to send a message.
Local station KMOV is reporting that Nasheed was carrying a fully loaded 9 mm handgun, which she did have a concealed carry permit for. This is particularly interesting because she has been labeled as “anti-gun” by the NRA for legislation she has introduced in Missouri. KMOV is also stating that sources reported to them that Ferguson police requested a breathalyzer test because of the strong smell of alcohol, but Nasheed refused to comply. Nasheed’s formal charge was Failure to Obey Lawful Order of Police and Manner of Walking in the Roadway.
Nasheed was one of the only politicians who went to Ferguson in the days immediately following the death of unarmed teen Michael Brown. However, it appears as though the credibility she gained with constituents by joining them is fading. To add to the suspicion, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced the formation of a Ferguson Commission, which he just so happens to want Nasheed to lead. Here is Nixon’s tweet:
The series of events seems more than just ironic. Here is a Twitter timeline of her arrest and the feelings of those on the ground: