Protests Turn Into Riots After Fatal Shooting of Black Teen

MichaelBrown

Tensions remain high in Ferguson, Missouri after an unarmed black teen was shot to death by a police officer on Saturday.

In just a few days, 18-year-old Michael Brown would have been starting his freshman year of college, but his life was cut short when he was gunned down by police.

Witnesses tell KMOV-TV that the teenager was unarmed and had his hands in the air when he was shot multiple times by a Ferguson police officer.

“He (the officer) shot again and once my friend felt that shot, he turned around and put his hands in the air,” said Dorian Johnson, a friend Brown’s. “He started to get down and the officer still approached with his weapon drawn and fired several more shots.”

Members of the community began to protest by marching into the Ferguson Police Department chanting “don’t shoot me” and holding their hands in the air.

Outside, the protesting continued as crowds shouted “We want answers” and “no justice, no peace,” and some carried signs saying “stop police terrorism” and “disarm the police.”

Other protesters were not so peaceful.

Sunday’s protests turned violent after dark, according to news station KMOV-TV, with rioters smashing windows of businesses and cars, looting shops and setting a building on fire.

At least two dozen businesses were damaged, St. Louis County Police spokesman Brian Schellman said on Monday. More than 300 police officers, many in riot gear, tried to gain control of the crowd. During the chaos, one officer was struck by a brick while another hurt his knee while making an arrest, Schellman said.

The 32 people arrested will face charges that could include assault, larceny and burglary, Schellman said.

Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson says St. Louis County Police have taken charge of the investigation and the officer involved in the shooting has been put on paid administrative leave.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has instructed the Justice Department’s civil rights division to monitor the case, and the FBI said it is assisting police in the investigation, CNN reported.

Civil rights leader, Rev. Al Sharpton, said in a statement Sunday that he had spoken with Brown’s grandfather and had agreed to visit St. Louis to help the family.

“My grandson never even got into a fight,” Brown’s grandmother, Desiree Harris said of him.“He was just looking forward to getting on with his life. He was on his way.”

(Photo Credit: KMOV-TV)