“We were trying to give them every opportunity to comply with the curfew,” Johnson said later.
Finally, several canisters of smoke bombs and tear gas was lobbed into the crowd.
The nearly hour-long clash resulted in the arrest of seven people, said Johnson, who was put in charge of policing the community on Thursday. They were charged with failure to disperse.
Johnson, who had said earlier in the day that force would not be used, later justified its use.
He said the tear gas was used because police learned that several armed men were holed up inside of a restaurant. Johnson said one of the men moved into the middle of the street, but escaped. Another unidentified man was shot and taken by friends to the hospital, where he is in critical condition.
Johnson added that a police car was also fired upon, but it was unclear whether ,it was hit.
Earlier on Saturday, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, whose members included Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King Jr., announced their intentions of paying for Brown’s funeral. Brown, 18, was to have started his first year of college last Monday.