Reports say that the Ferguson police tried to over-enthusiastically protect their chief, who was attempting to join a protest march. The chief says that he wanted to ease tensions in the still-ongoing Michael Brown case, and let the protesters know he understands their cause.

However, according to NBC, the situation quickly escalated when a number of riot police tried to push their way into the crowd to protect the chief. Alderman Antonio French told reporters that the chief had joined the protesters for only seconds when riot police began shoving their way into the crowd.

The Lost Voices, a youth outreach group that has been organizing and leading the protests, tells a different side of the story.

Several protesters ended up being arrested. A video posted on Instagram shows the chief of police, in civilian clothes, walking in the center of a group of chanting protesters. This is said to have lasted only a very short time before riot police rushed out, and the whole tone of the event changed.

A Vine video shared by Alderman Antonio French shows things getting out of hand quickly.

Many shared photos show the police lined up along the street, with protesters confined to the other side, in scenes reminiscent of earlier protests.

Ferguson has been in a state of unrest since Michael Brown’s shooting, but for weeks, the protesters and police have had a somewhat less antagonistic relationship with one another, with few arrests and little animosity. However, in the past week, two events have ratcheted up the pain in the little town: first, Michael Brown’s memorial burned to the ground, with many believing that police set the blaze. Second, the chief of police gave a scripted apology for the events of Brown’s death, which protesters and mourners see as too little, too late.

The Lost Voices say they’ll keep protesting until an indictment is returned for Darren Wilson, the officer behind the shooting of Michael Brown. The Grand Jury has until January 7 to decide whether to return an indictment in the Ferguson case.

[Photo: Twitter]