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(CNN) – Elected officials in Ferguson, Missouri, called for a night of quiet Tuesday, asking residents to stay at home this evening after heavily armed police clashed with protesters Monday night.
"Let's have a night to cool off and a night we can completely separate those good people exercising first amendment rights from those trying to co-opt this horrible situation into something to meet their own needs," Ferguson Mayor Andrew Knowles said in an interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."
Residents in the Missouri town have expressed concern over the show of police force on display at night. But Knowles said it was in response to recent looting that started in Ferguson, and spread to nearby towns.
"The optics, it looks very terrible. I don't dispute that. Others are saying they're being antagonized by that, I can see that. We have to realize we're all out here for one reason, the people who first came out here believe there's an injustice. We all want justice," said Knowles.
Everybody out here "should understand we're just trying to keep people safe," he said.