Michael Brown shooting: What started the unrest in Ferguson?

The teenager's death sparked the Black Lives Matter movement

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The Independent US

Police have arrested nearly two dozen people in Ferguson, Missouri, as protests marking a year since Michael Browns' death sporadically stretched over the weekend into the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The scenes over the past few days have been reminiscent of the protests and sometimes violent unrest last summer, sparked by white police officer Darren Wilson shooting and killing the unarmed 18-year-old.

His death inspired the nationwide Black Lives Matter movement, and provoked a fierce debate over how police treat minorities.

Wilson shot Brown on Canfield Drive at 12:02pm on 9 August 2014. The teenager's body lay on the ground four and a half hours after he was killed, prompting neighbours to accuse the police of mistreating his remains.

A day after Brown was gunned down, protests which followed a candlelight vigil on West Florissant Avenue, next to Canfield Drive, quickly escalated as people smashed windows and looted stores. Protesters would continue returning to the streets for ten consecutive days.

And despite coming under greater scrutiny, Ferguson Police Department responded to even peaceful protests with batons, tear gas and rubber bullets in the aftermath of rioting and arson that tore apart the St. Louis suburb of 21,000 people.

In those ten days, the authorities scrambled to stop people gathering in the streets, with President Barack Obama calling for calm; the state governor declaring a state of emergency and imposing a midnight curfew, and the National Guard descending on the city.

Further unrest erupted in November 2014, when a grand jury decided not to indict Wilson.

A damning Justice Department report issued in March accused the Ferguson Police Department of illegal and discriminatory enforcement actions that particularly exploited African-Americans.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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