The tension here got thicker with every tick of the clock Tuesday night. But in the end, Ferguson was spared the kind of damage inflicted on it a day earlier.
There were fewer arrests and fewer instances of vandalism. And while there was plenty of anger among its residents, it was channeled in chants and not chaos.
"We were perhaps not optimistic but we were at least hopeful we would have a better night than we had," said St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar.
To be sure, there were some ugly incidents.