September 23, 2014
Gunshots, tear gas in riots over shooting of black Missouri teen
Gunshots rang out and police fired tear gas at rock-throwing rioters late last night in a second night of violence over the death of a black teenager shot by police in Ferguson, Missouri.
Michael Brown, 18, was killed in the largely black St. Louis suburb on Saturday afternoon after what officers said was a struggle with a gun in a police car. The FBI opened an investigation into the racially charged case.
Brown's family has hired an attorney who represented the family of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager whose fatal shooting by a neighborhood watch volunteer in 2012 triggered nationwide protests.
"He just graduated and was on his way to college," said Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, speaking through tears at a news conference on Monday, which would have been her first-born son's first day at school.
She called for calm, but demonstrations demanding the arrest and conviction of the police officer turned violent. Fire trucks, ambulances and more officers converged on the area in a chaotic scene. One officer in riot gear stood behind a squad car in a standoff with a group of young demonstrators.
Crowds, driven out of one area by tear gas gathered outside a police station chanting "Hands up, don't shoot".
"We aren't going to let this one go," said 18-year-old Dreya Harris, of St. Louis. "People feel like in the Trayvon Martin case that there was no justice."
Other demonstrators had photographs that appeared to show Brown's body lying on the street and shot videos of the confrontations with their mobile phones.
"They are throwing bottles, coins, rocks at the police ... That's why the tear gas has been deployed," St. Louis County Police Department spokesman Brian Schellman said.
More than 50 people have been arrested by early Tuesday morning, said police and local media.
On Sunday night, crowds broke car and shop windows, set fire to one building and looted shops. At least two dozen businesses were damaged, 32 people were arrested, and two police officers were injured, officials said.