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Twitter cofounder joins Ferguson protesters on first night of curfew

Jack Dorsey hits the right notes.


Taylor Hatmaker


Posted on Aug 17, 2014   Updated on May 30, 2021, 6:28 pm CDT

As a critical mass of locals and journalists take to the streets of Ferguson, Mo. once more, Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey is putting his mouth where his money is. After arriving in the St. Louis suburb, Dorsey appears to have joined other late-night protesters out past the midnight curfew put in place by Gov. Jay Nixon. Dorsey, a St. Louis native, tweeted that he was “heading home” on Friday.

With mainstream coverage still lagging, Twitter is the epicenter of online news spilling out of Ferguson. Protesters and press have also taken to Vine, the Twitter-owned video platform, to post short videos of the scene on the ground. Dorsey quickly joined right in, posting tweets and vines from the streets of Ferguson to his account, from rainy Saturday afternoon into the chaos to come as night fell.

Marched with Alderman @AntonioFrench. Amazing calm. Thank you Alderman! #ferguson

— Jack (@jack) August 17, 2014

— Jack (@jack) August 17, 2014

Final gathering at the QT.

— Jack (@jack) August 17, 2014

For the second night in a row, police reportedly deployed tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowds, and the sound of gunfire joined the cacophony. Starting around 1:30am Sunday morning, rumors began to circulate that Dorsey may have been arrested for violating curfew.

.@AntonioFrench was NOT detained, but reports that Twitter co-founder @jack was arrested persist: #Fergurson

— Neetzan Zimmerman (@neetzan) August 17, 2014

STL County Jail does NOT have @Jack in custody. #Ferguson Maybe a different place?

— The Tech CEO (@TheTechCEO) August 17, 2014

Dorsey was in fact on his way home, as he later tweeted to confirm. While other high-profile figures have stumbled around the topic, so far, Dorsey’s firsthand account of the chaos not far from his hometown is subdued and genuine, focusing on the Ferguson community rather than his own role in the protests.

UPDATE: Twitter co-founder @jack just tweeted confirmation that he was NOT arrested tonight in #Ferguson:

— Neetzan Zimmerman (@neetzan) August 17, 2014

On Friday, authorities released the name of the officer who shot and killed unarmed teen Michael Brown, along with a video allegedly depicting Brown stealing a handful of Swisher Sweets cigarillos from QuikTrip, a local convenience store. Authorities admitted that the officer who fatally shot brown—Darren Wilson, 28—was unaware of the incident and actually initiated the altercation with Brown and his friend Dorian Johnson because the pair were walking in the street and not on the sidewalk. Gov. Nixon declared a state of emergency for Ferguson after protests escalated yet again after dark on Friday. Saturday is the community’s first night under a formal curfew.

Finally home. See you tomorrow #Ferguson.

— Jack (@jack) August 17, 2014

Photo via Shawn Semmler/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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*First Published: Aug 17, 2014, 2:58 am CDT