Tuesday 21 October 2014

Missouri shooting: Unarmed black teen 'shot repeatedly while surrendering to police'

Published 12/08/2014 | 13:58

A man leaves a store on Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A few thousand people crammed a suburban St. Louis street Sunday night at a vigil for unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown shot and killed by a police officer, while afterward several car windows were smashed and stores were looted as people carried away armloads of goods as witnessed by an an Associated Press reporter.
A man leaves a store on Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A few thousand people crammed a suburban St. Louis street Sunday night at a vigil for unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown shot and killed by a police officer, while afterward several car windows were smashed and stores were looted as people carried away armloads of goods as witnessed by an an Associated Press reporter.
Lesley McSpadden, center, drops rose petals on the blood stains from her 18-year-old son Michael Brown who was shot and killed by police in the middle of the street in Ferguson
Lesley McSpadden, center, drops rose petals on the blood stains from her 18-year-old son Michael Brown who was shot and killed by police in the middle of the street in Ferguson
A man leaves a store on Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A few thousand people crammed a suburban St. Louis street Sunday night at a vigil for unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown shot and killed by a police officer, while afterward several car windows were smashed and stores were looted as people carried away armloads of goods as witnessed by an an Associated Press reporter.
A man leaves a store on Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A few thousand people crammed a suburban St. Louis street Sunday night at a vigil for unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown shot and killed by a police officer, while afterward several car windows were smashed and stores were looted as people carried away armloads of goods as witnessed by an an Associated Press reporter.

Eyewitnesses to the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown have claimed the unarmed teenager was shot repeatedly while surrendering to the police.

Dorian Johnson, 22, who was with Brown at the time of his death, said the pair had been walking in the middle of the street when a police officer in a car reportedly told them to “get the f**k on the sidewalk”.

Louis Head, stepfather to 18-year-old Michael Brown who was fatally shot by police, holds a sign in Ferguson
Louis Head, stepfather to 18-year-old Michael Brown who was fatally shot by police, holds a sign in Ferguson

A struggle near the officer’s car followed, with Johnson reporting that Brown was shot at close range. “The whole time [the officer] was holding my friend until the gun went off,” Johnson told MSNBC.

Johnson and Brown started running away when Brown was shot a second time in the back. Following this Johnson says Brown turned around with his hands up and said “I don’t have a gun, stop shooting!” after which the office reportedly shot him several more times.

Protestors blocking Florissant Road raise their hands after being approached by police officers who asked them to stop blocking the street in front of the Ferguson police department
Protestors blocking Florissant Road raise their hands after being approached by police officers who asked them to stop blocking the street in front of the Ferguson police department

This version of events has been corroborated by several other eyewitness accounts, although police from Ferguson - the working class, mostly black St. Louis suburb where the incident took place – maintain that Brown was killed following a struggle for the officer’s gun.

The police have also confirmed that Brown was shot multiple times, with St. Louis County police chief Jon Belmar reporting that the teenager, who was in the area visiting his grandmother, was hit “more than just a couple but I don’t think it was many more than that.”

The identity of the officer involved has not been revealed and is currently on paid leave for the investigation into Brown’s death.

Protests sparked by the killing continued from the weekend into Monday night, with groups gathering in the street chanting “Don’t shoot” at the police and holding their hands up.

Police in the area have been using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds, with journalists in the area reporting being threatened with arrest if they don’t leave the scene.

Brown’s death follows close on the death of New York resident Eric Garner, who was killed by police after being placed in a chokehold. The incident was caught on video and Garner can be heard saying “I can’t breathe” repeatedly.

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