Michael Brown shooting: Police officers in Ferguson wear body cameras following conflicting accounts of 18-year-old's death

Police officers wore the cameras at a march on Saturday in memory of the unarmed black 18-year-old shot by a white police officer last month

Police officers in Ferguson, Missouri, have started wearing body cameras, following weeks of unrest in the city after an unarmed black teenager was shot by a white police officer.

Sharply differing accounts of the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson on 9 August only fuelled the tension in the St Louis suburb, and revived calls for the use of body cameras to record police interactions.

The death sparked nearly three weeks of both peaceful and turbulent protests in Ferguson, and brought race relations in the US to international attention.

Prior to the shooting, Officer Wilson stopped Mr Brown and his friend from walking in the middle of the street. Eye-witnesses claim Mr Brown raised his hands to surrender before Wilson shot him multiple times in the head and chest. But the police allege that a struggle between the two led to the shooting.

Read more: St Louis police officer suspended over video
Ku Klux Klan raises 'reward' for officer who shot Michael Brown
Police shoot and kill second young black man near Ferguson
Michael Brown shooting: Ferguson officer Darren Wilson was ‘doing his job’ says growing band of supporters

The use of cameras is supported by both the law enforcement agencies and the American Civil Liberties Union, but opponents argue the cameras are an invasion of privacy and deter people from approaching the police with sensitive information.

The cameras were first deployed on Saturday when hundreds of people gathered in the city to march to remember Mr Brown. The police presences was muted – in contrast to earlier clashes between the authorities and demonstrators.

Rally attendees, including children, wore shirts bearing the ubiquitous slogan “Hands up, don't shoot,” and were led by Mr Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden.

Ferguson police chief Tom Jackson said the cameras, donated by two video surveillance companies, were well received by officers.

 

“They are really enjoying them,” police chief Tom Jackson told the St Louis Post-Dispatch after around 50 body cameras were deployed on Saturday.

“They are trying to get used to using them,” he said

A grand jury in St Louis County has begun a hearing on the killing, and will decide whether Mr Wilson should be charged with a crime. The US Justice Department has launched an investigation into the shooting.

Additional reporting by Reuters

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Frank Turner performing at 93 Feet East
musicReview: 93 Feet East, London
News
Toronto tops the charts across a range of indexes
news

World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'

Extras
indybest
Voices
A mother and her child
voices
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Recruitment Assistant

£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a friendly, confident i...

Tradewind Recruitment: Primary Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: At Tradewind Recruitment we are currently l...

Tradewind Recruitment: Physics Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Tradewind Recruitment is currently working ...

Recruitment Genius: Case Manager - Occupational Therapist / Physiotherapist

£28000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee