Michael Brown shooting: Shops looted and vandalised after vigil for unarmed black teenager shot dead by police in St Louis
The 18-year-old was shot multiple times on his way to his grandmother's house
Monday 11 August 2014
Officials in Missouri are calling for calm after shops were looted and car windows were vandalised following a vigil for a black teenager shot dead by police.
Michael Brown, 18, died after being hit multiple times in the suburb of Ferguson in St Louis on Saturday on the way to his grandmother’s house, provoking angry confrontations between officers and members of the community.
Police said Mr Brown and another man were involved in a scuffle with an officer, who shot the teenager after an alleged struggle for a gun.
It was not clear if the teenager was the man who struggled with the officer but police confirmed he was unarmed.
Around around 100 protesters took to the streets on Sunday, with some chanting “No Justice! No Peace!”, while others held up their hands saying “Don’t shoot me!” as armed officers looked on.
Later in the day, thousands packed the suburb in St Louis where he died in a vigil.
Protesters bang on the side of a police car Sunday evening, Small groups were seen afterwards looting a supermarket, breaking into shops along a main road near the shooting, smashing car windows and carrying away armfuls of stolen goods.
Television footage showed streams of people walking out of an off-licence carrying bottles of alcohol, and in some cases protesters were standing on police cars or taunting officers standing around in riot gear.
The killing drew criticism from civil rights leaders, who compared it to the 2012 shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by a Florida neighbourhood watch member, who was acquitted of murder charges.
George Zimmerman had followed Mr Martin without orders and said he shot the teenager, who was black, in “self-defence”, despite him being unarmed.
John Gaskin, from the St Louis branch of American civil rights group NAACP, said: “We're outraged because yet again a young African-American man has been killed by law enforcement.”
James Knowles, the mayor of Ferguson, said a small group of people were creating a “huge mess” on Sunday.
“Contributing to the unrest that is going on is not going to help,” he told KTVI-TV.
“We're only hurting ourselves, only hurting our community, hurting our neighbours. There's nothing productive from this.
“We understand people want to vent their frustrations. We understand they want to speak out.
“We're going to obviously try to urge calm.”
There were no reports of injuries by Monday morning but authorities had been alerted to “widespread” property damage.
The second person involved in the confrontation where Mr Brown was killed has not been arrested or charged.
A large crowd gathers at the candlelight vigil on Sunday evening Tom Jackson, the chief of Ferguson Police Chief, told KSDK-TV there was no apparent video footage of the shooting from a nearby apartment complex, from any police dashboard cameras or body-worn cameras that the department has purchased but not put into use.
Mr Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, said he had graduated from school and was about to enter a local university.
She said she doesn't understand why police didn't subdue her son with a baton or taser, and she said the officer involved should be fired and prosecuted.
“I would like to see him go to jail with the death penalty,” she said, fighting back tears.
The race of the officer involved in the shooting has not been disclosed but authorities said he had been with the Ferguson Police Department for six years and has been placed on paid administrative leave.
The St Louis County Police Department is in charge of the investigation, which could be referred to the FBI.
Additional reporting by AP
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