Ferguson Protests Reach Possible 'Turning Point'

Although police in Ferguson say they arrested 47 people overnight Tuesday, they didn't use tear gas for the first time in several nights.

Ferguson Protests Reach Possible 'Turning Point'
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The chance for a calm night in Ferguson disappeared around midnight Wednesday, though we didn't see the same kind of violence that's turned the St. Louis suburb into the focus of the news cycle for more than a week now.

Headlines from local TV stations like KMOV and KTVI signaled a possible "turning point" in the protests and a "peaceful" Tuesday night.

LEISA ZIGMAN, KSDK REPORTER: "So far, it has been calm and peaceful all night."

JULIAN JOHNSON, KMOV REPORTER: "It's not as calm as it could be, but it's also not as tense as we've seen on other nights."

That changed well after the end of newscasts. Police say officers chased a small group of protesters after someone standing next to reporters began throwing water bottles, some filled with ice water. (Video via KSDK and KMOV)

During a press conference early Wednesday, Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson announced 47 arrests. He stressed, though, officers didn't fire any tear gas for the first time in several nights. (Video via CNN / KTVI)

Not an insignificant change in the ongoing tension. Still, protesters say they won't stop gathering until prosecutors announce a decision on possible charges against Officer Darren Wilson, the Ferguson policeman who shot Michael Brown.

Federal response to the chaos has been largely absent from public view, as protests overshadowed an independent investigation by the FBI and President Obama's vacation coincided with Brown's death.

But U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder hopes to change that Wednesday with a visit to Ferguson, where he'll meet with investigators.

​In an op-ed for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Holder promised a full, fair and independent investigation into the unarmed teen's death. But he also called for protesters to separate themselves from what police say is a small number of often out-of-town instigators, saying, "They interrupt the deeper conversation that the legitimate demonstrators are trying to advance."

This video contains images from Getty Images.