Angry Ferguson protesters ignore curfew

Ferguson - US police fired smoke bombs at a group of protesters angry at the shooting death of a black teenager by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri where a curfew was imposed on Sunday morning.

However, there were claims that it was teargas and not smoke bombs that police fired. Reporters on the ground also tweeted that someone had been shot in the leg. It was unclear if the person had been shot with a rubber bullet.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency after a week of racially charged protests and looting over the 9 August fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in the suburban St Louis community.

The curfew will run from 00:00 until 05:00 CDT (05:00 to 10:00 GMT), officials said.

The protesters remained in the street past the curfew under a downpour of rain, with some chanting, "No justice, no curfew, no peace", while others implored the crowd not to move forward towards police. Police estimated the number of protesters remaining in the street at about 150 people.

On Saturday night, the mood among hundreds of protesters on a main road in Ferguson was tense and defiant, following a number of other demonstrations in the town in recent days. Dozens of helmet-clad officers holding full-length shields took position near demonstrators in the rain.

"The curfew is going to make things worse," said protester Phonso Scott, 24. "I think the cops are going to get violent tonight, but they can't lock us all up."

A running series of protests erupted in Ferguson after police officer Darren Wilson, 28, shot and killed Brown as he and a friend walked down a street that runs through an apartment complex where Brown's grandmother lives.

On Saturday afternoon, Nixon and other officials came face to face with angry members of the community during a tense news conference at a church near Ferguson.

"The eyes of the world are watching. This is the test of whether a community, this community, any community, can break the cycle of fear, distrust and violence, and replace them with peace, strength and, ultimately, justice," Nixon, a Democrat, told the gathering.

St Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCullough, who has faced skepticism from some elected officials and community members over his ability to handle the case, on Saturday told a local public radio station he plans to have a grand jury begin to look at evidence in the shooting of Brown within days.

Tensions have been high all week but escalated on Friday evening, pitting mostly black protesters against mostly white police as the demonstrators swarmed through a residential and retail district that has become a center of the unrest, and some in the crowd looted a handful of stores.

Brown's family and supporters have demanded for days that the officer who shot Brown be held accountable. The US Department of Justice is investigating the shooting for any civil rights violations, and the St Louis County Police department also has launched a probe.

Confusion over killing

The police version of Brown's shooting differs markedly from witness accounts, including that of the friend who was walking with Brown at the time, Dorian Johnson, 22.

In the police version, after Wilson asked Brown to move out of the road onto a sidewalk, Brown reached into the patrol car and struggled with Wilson for the officer's service gun. Wilson, who sustained a facial injury, then shot Brown a number of times.

Johnson and at least one other witness have said the officer reached out through his car window to grab at Brown and the teenager was trying to get away from the officer when he was shot. Brown held up his hands in a sign of surrender but the officer got out of his patrol car and shot Brown several times, they said.

FBI agents were at the scene of the shooting on Saturday interviewing residents, and civil rights activist Jesse Jackson also visited the site, leading a prayer near a makeshift memorial to Brown just a few feet from where he died.

The Reverend Al Sharpton has said he would lead a rally with Brown's family in Ferguson on Sunday.

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BrandonFaber 2014/08/17 08:18:38 AM
Why loot / steal when protesting? Don't get it.
Graeme Musto 2014/08/17 08:28:27 AM
Graeme Musto 2014/08/17 08:28:28 AM
Graeme Musto 2014/08/17 08:28:29 AM
Andrew Grieveson 2014/08/17 08:30:29 AM
Funny how race only mentioned when victim is black . Doesn't apply the other way round !!
coswecanfly 2014/08/17 08:38:19 AM
To the community of Ferguson (and problem ridden communities here in SA) : You have nobody to blame for this but yourselves. YOU are the ones that through your own actions and inaction, allowed this boy to grow up to be a criminal. If you were more involved in raising this boy and if you were a tighter knit community this would not have happened. Place the blame where it belongs. There are no bad children, just bad parents.
avram berkowitz 2014/08/17 10:12:43 AM
ational Coalition 4 Palestine #NC4P This is a letter that Moira Levy sent to Woolworths: May I respectfully ask you to remove me from your mailing list. I have long been a loyal Woolworths customer, but I have chosen to respect the call for a boycott of Woolworths until it stops stocking Israeli products. We learned in South Africa that an international boycott is an effective peaceful strategy to bring about political change in countries that practise discrimination and violent repression. Israel's ongoing occupation and recent assault on Gaza demands action from citizens who cannot accept racial discrimination and the abuse of human rights. Therefore I urge Woolworths to respect the rights of Palestinians and refrain from trading with Israel. Regards Moira Levy #?boycottwoolworths?
Shaun O'Meara 2014/08/17 10:22:17 AM
Okay lets look at this with open eyes. A criminal gets stopped by police. Nobody simply shoots another person unless you a total idiot or a member of islam. The riotous crowd are looting and destroying the town they live in. Like S.A blacks that burnt school's meant to educate them in. Very clever. Yet they don't even know the circumstances that lead to the shooting of a thief and a criminal. All you black racists please tell me what would happen if it was a black cop that shot him? Would it be justified then? This racist card you always play shows who the real racists are. Get over the fact you are black and embrace it. As we whites, Indian's, chinese and any other race accept what we are. Stop YOUR racist crap.
Shaun O'Meara 2014/08/17 10:28:51 AM
Bingo what do you mean let it happen the other way around. What do you call the farm murders in S.A. is that nothing or are you simply not a regular news reader?
Mlu Zulu 2014/08/17 10:56:39 AM
When I read this article it did not mention that a boy was a criminal now white people on news 24 they claim that he was a criminal and they try to connect this American incident with farm murderers in south Africa racism will never end as long as see color of a skin not a person,and I was starting to believe that there will be reconciliation in S.A clearly I was fooling myself