FERGUSON, Mo., Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Activist Cornel West was among more than 50 people arrested Monday during the latest day of marches protesting the police shooting of Michael Brown in August.
Police took 43 protesters into custody as about 500 people demonstrated outside a Ferguson, Mo., police station as part of the first of several "Moral Monday" events.
West, who came to St. Louis for a weekend of rallies, told other demonstrators he "came here to go to jail."
Protesters repeatedly told police they wanted to be arrested, according to county police spokesman Brian Schellman. He said demonstrators weren't arrested until they bumped police shields and attempted to break through the line.
Another six protesters were arrested for blocking traffic at West Florissant Avenue and Lucas & Hunt Road, and seven more were taken into custody at a fundraiser for County Councilman Steve Stenger, who is running for St. Louis county executive
Many of Ferguson's leaders have withdrawn support for Stenger, a Democrat, after he defeated County Executive Charles Dooley in the August primary with the backing of prosecutor Robert McCulloch.
Among the protesters' primary demands is for McCulloch to step aside from the investigation into the Aug. 9 shooting, accusing him of bias toward the police.
Six protesters were also arrested at the Ferguson Walmart, which was looted shortly after Brown's shooting.
According to Mark Esters, the vice president of the St. Louis chapter of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, that location was selected to remember John Crawford III, an Ohio man who was shot and killed by police in a Walmart.
"It's another unjust killing of another black male at the hands of the police," Esters said, also recalling the death last week of Vonderrit Myers by an off-duty St. Louis officer. "All were killed at the hands of law enforcement who should have been serving and protecting the community."