A leading Ferguson protester who’s advocated for non-violent protest was arrested Friday for an act of violent protest after setting fire to — and robbing — a Berkeley, Missouri convenience store earlier this week.
Joshua Williams, 19, became a media favorite in the wake of the unrest in Ferguson, frequently quoted in articles and photographed heavily at demonstrations.
Williams earned a glowing profile from MSNBC where he was depicted as the “portrait of a protester.” He even told MSNBC that the protests “can’t get nowhere with violence.”
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the activist disregarded his own advice and joined in the onrush of looters early Wednesday who struck a Berkeley QuikTrip store across the street from the gas station where an armed black man was shot and killed by a white police officer the same day. Crowds immediately gathered after the shooting and initiated a violent confrontation with police.