Despite no curfew and police openly saying protesters had a right to be on the streets, another night in Ferguson ended with officers clearing the area with tear gas.
Police told KTVI and other media outlets they tallied 31 people arrested, two fires started and two people shot overnight Monday. One of KMOV's reporters on the ground near protests said he heard nine shots fired.
Officers have tried to regain 24-hour control over the St. Louis suburb angered by the police shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown with little success. Yet another night of clashes with protesters led to a surprisingly emotional press conference from the man in charge of keeping the peace.
CAPT. RON JOHNSON, MISSOURI HIGHWAY PATROL ON KSDK: "And I am not going to let the criminals that have come out here from across this country or live in this community define this neighborhood and define what we're going to do to make it right."
That was the very last thing Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson said in a 15-minute-long press conference around 3 a.m. local time Tuesday.
Addressing heavy criticism for the arrest of reporters, continued use of tear gas against protesters and generally not being able to get Ferguson under control, Johnson again said a violent minority of protesters often from out of town continue to cause the worst unrest.
Protests started a week and a half ago when Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson killed 18-year-old Brown.
Autopsy results showed Brown was shot at least six times total and twice in the head, though the medical examiner performing a private autopsy cautioned that information alone didn't assign blame or justify the shooting.
When asked this week on multiple network morning show interviews what will bring peace to Ferguson, Brown's mother has simply answered, "Justice." The family has not been shy in calling for Officer Wilson's arrest.
LESLEY MCSPADDEN, MICHAEL BROWN'S MOTHER ON NBC: "Him being arrested, charges being filed and a prosecution. Him being held liable for what he did."
In the last week, much of police press conferences have centered around explaining or justifying what's happened in Ferguson.
In a move prosecutors and even Missouri's governor have questioned, Ferguson police released a surveillance video Friday of a man they believe was Brown stealing cigars just before he was shot. (Video via Fox News)
During his press conference early Tuesday morning, Johnson showed reporters two guns and a Molotov cocktail police say have been recovered from protest scenes. (Video via KMOV)
Johnson also asked that peaceful protesters gather from now on during daylight hours and separate themselves from others trying to incite violence. He noted again there was no curfew and protesters had the right to gather at any hour of the day.