MO Riot Police Use Tear Gas, Rubber Bullets in 2nd Night of Protests
Police in Ferguson, Missouri, used rubber bullets and tear gas as protests continued for a second straight day following the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager. At least five arrests were reported, but unlike the previous night, no looting occurred.
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Police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds near a burned-out convenience store in St. Louis suburb as a second day of protests over the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager turned violent.
The store had been damaged on Sunday night, when many businesses in the town of Ferguson, Mo. were looted following a vigil calling for a full investigation into the shooting death of Michael Brown.
Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said members of the crowd threw rocks at police and gunfire came from the crowd, so officers used tear gas and shot "beanbag rounds" meant to stun them. St. Louis County police spokesman Brian Schellman said there were at least five arrests and no reports of looting.
An Associated Press photographer said police were telling people to go home, but authorities had blocked exit streets off. Jackson said police blocked off the area where most of the looting and vandalism occurred the previous night out of concern that cars passing by might hit demonstrators in the street.
Two men who said they had witnessed the shooting Saturday afternoon said that Brown had his hands raised when the officer approached with his weapon drawn and fired repeatedly. Authorities were vague about exactly what led the officer to open fire on Brown, except to say that the shooting was preceded by a scuffle of some kind with a man. It was unclear whether Brown or the man he was with was involved in the altercation.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar previously said that an officer encountered Brown and another man outside an apartment complex, and that one of the men pushed the officer into his squad car and they struggled over the officer's weapon.
But Phillip Walker told the Associated Press that he was on the porch of an apartment complex overlooking the scene when he heard a shot and saw a white officer with Brown on the street.
Brown "was giving up in the sense of raising his arms and being subdued," Walker said Monday. The officer "had his gun raised and started shooting the individual in the chest multiple times." The officer then "stood over him and shot him" after the victim fell wounded.
Dorian Johnson offered a similar account when he told KMOV-TV that he and Brown were walking home from a convenience store when a police officer told them to get out of the street and onto the sidewalk. Johnson said they kept walking, which caused the officer to confront them from his car and again after getting out of the vehicle.
Johnson said the first time the officer fired, he and Brown got scared and ran away.
"He shot again, and once my friend felt that shot, he turned around and put his hands in the air, and he started to get down," Johnson said. "But the officer still approached with his weapon drawn and fired several more shots."
"We wasn't causing harm to nobody," Johnson said. "We had no weapons on us at all."
The officer's identity has not been revealed, but he has been placed on paid administrative leave. Jackson said there's no video footage of the shooting from the apartment complex or from any police dashboard cameras or body-worn cameras that the department recently bought but has not yet put to use.
Brown's parents and their attorneys asked the public to share any information and videos they might have related to the shooting.
The family had planned to drop their son off at a technical college Monday to begin his studies.
"Instead of celebrating his future, they are having to plan his funeral," said Benjamin Crump, a family attorney who also represented Trayvon Martin's relatives after he was slain in 2012 in Florida.
"I don't want to sugarcoat it," Crump added. Brown "was executed in broad daylight."
Crump and some civil rights leaders drew comparisons between Brown's death and that of Martin and other young black men killed in racially charged incidents.
Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, said she did not understand why police did not subdue her son with a club or stun gun. She said the officer involved should be fired and prosecuted, adding that "I would like to see him go to jail with the death penalty."
The FBI is looking into possible civil rights violations, said Cheryl Mimura, a spokeswoman for the agency's St. Louis field office.
Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement that the case deserves a full review.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)