The fatal shooting of a black teenager by white police officers has again sparked angry riots on the streets of St Louis, Missouri.
Racial tensions continue to run exceptionally high in the state, one year on from the shooting of unarmed black teen Michael Brown in Ferguson.
Nine people were arrested last night as protests broke out across St Louis, with reports some demonstrators threw bricks and glass bottles at officers. Police were shown on local TV lined up in riot gear, and later used tear gas to disperse the crowd.
The unrest began with the shooting of a young man who, according to St Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson, fled with another man when officers were carrying out a search warrant on a house.
"Detectives were looking for guns, looking for violent felons, looking for people that have been committing crimes in the neighbourhood," Dotson said.
Two white officers, aged 29 and 33, were searching the house and called for the fleeing men to stop. One, identified by police as 18-year-old Mansur Ball-Bey, reportedly pointed a gun at the officers. They opened fire, shooting four times and killing him.
I graduated with #MansurBallBey and for the 4 years I knew him, he was a good person that didn't have trouble with anyone.— Alexander ⚾ (@dreadhead21597) August 20, 2015
Ball-Bey’s name, along with the now familiar #BlackLivesMatter, quickly became widespread across social media.
Another teen who said he was Ball-Bey’s friend throughout high school wrote: “I knew there was another hashtag coming this week but I didn’t expect it to be one of my closest friends.”
Speaking at a press conference late on Wednesday, Dotson told reporters that Ball-Bey’s gun was one of three stolen firearms recovered from the scene, and that officers also recovered crack cocaine.
He said that the officers involved each had about seven years’ experiences on the force. They have now been placed on administrative leave.
Wednesday’s shooting came 10 days after St Louis was one of the focal points for protests marking the anniversary of the killing of Michael Brown by a white police officer on 9 August last year. The death was one of a number of killings which sparked a nationwide movement against police violence.Reuse content