Friday 30 January 2015

Smoke cannisters fired at protesters after unarmed black teenager shot by police

Published 17/08/2014 | 09:04

Demonstrators face off with police after tear gas was fired at protesters reacting to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri
Demonstrators face off with police after tear gas was fired at protesters reacting to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri
Police officers react at the scene of a looting at the Dellwood Market after protests against the shooting of Michael Brown turned violent near Ferguson, Missouri
Protesters react to the effects of tear gas which was fired at demonstrators reacting to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri
Demonstrators face off with police after tear gas was fired at protesters reacting to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri
Protesters demonstrating against the shooting death of Michael Brown park in the streets in Ferguson, Missouri
Police officers stand guard at a gas station after protests against the shooting of Michael Brown turned violent near Ferguson, Missouri
Protesters gesture as they stand in a street in defiance of a midnight curfew meant to stem ongoing demonstrations in reaction to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 17, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Sam's Meat Market & More employee Steve Sumad rubs his neck as he surveys damage caused by looters the night before in Ferguson, Missouri, August 16, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Protestors march and hold their fists aloft during ongoing demonstrations in reaction to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 16, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Protesters assist a man who was overcome by smoke as police clear a street after the passing of a midnight curfew meant to stem ongoing demonstrations in reaction to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 17, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
A protester reaches down to throw back a smoke canister as police clear a street after the passing of a midnight curfew meant to stem ongoing demonstrations in reaction to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 17, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Protesters gesture as they stand in a street in defiance of a midnight curfew meant to stem ongoing demonstrations in reaction to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 17, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Protesters gesture as they stand in the street in defiance of a midnight curfew meant to stem ongoing demonstrations in reaction to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 17, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Protesters gesture as they stand in the street in defiance of a midnight curfew meant to stem ongoing demonstrations in reaction to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 17, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Protesters gesture as they stand in a street in defiance of a midnight curfew meant to stem ongoing demonstrations in reaction to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 17, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Protesters gesture as they stand in a street in defiance of a midnight curfew meant to stem ongoing demonstrations in reaction to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 17, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Protesters gesture as they stand in a street in defiance of a midnight curfew meant to stem ongoing demonstrations in reaction to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 17, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Protesters gesture as they stand in a street in defiance of a midnight curfew meant to stem ongoing demonstrations in reaction to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 17, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Protesters gesture as they stand in a street in defiance of a midnight curfew meant to stem ongoing demonstrations in reaction to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 17, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
A protester holds a sign aloft in front of police officers before a midnight curfew meant to stem ongoing demonstrations in reaction to the shooting of Michael Brown takes effect in Ferguson, Missouri August 16, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Police have fired multiple smoke canisters into a crowd of defiant protesters in a St Louis suburb where a black teenager had been shot by a white police officer while walking down the street.

Hundreds of other protesters left peacefully before the midnight to 5 am deadline took effect in Ferguson, Missouri early today.

But remaining protesters - chanting "No justice! No curfew!" - refused to leave the area. As five armoured tactical vehicles approached the crowd, officers spoke through a loudspeaker: "You are in violation of a state-imposed curfew. You must disperse immediately. Failure to comply, may result in arrest."

As officers put on gas masks, a chant from the distant crowd emerged: "We have the right to assemble peacefully."

A moment later, police began firing smoke into the crowd of protesters.

Missouri governor Jay Nixon said yesterday that though many protesters were making themselves heard peacefully, the state would not allow looters to endanger the community of Ferguson, where 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot in a street.

"I am committed to making sure the forces of peace and justice prevail," Mr Nixon said during a press conference at a church that was interrupted repeatedly by people objecting to the curfew and demanding that the officer who shot Mr Brown be charged with murder.

"We must first have and maintain peace. This is a test. The eyes of the world are watching," Mr Nixon, who also declared a state of emergency, said.

State statute gives the governor broad powers when he or she declares a state of emergency, but Mr Nixon has not indicated that he plans to do anything other than impose the curfew and empower the state highway patrol to enforce it.

The curfew announcement came after tensions again flared in Ferguson. Earlier, local police identified the officer who shot Mr Brown as Darren Wilson and released documents and video footage claiming that Mr Brown had robbed a convenience store just before he was shot.

Police said Officer Wilson was unaware Mr Brown was a suspect when he encountered him walking with a friend.

Mr Nixon said the US Department of Justice was stepping up its civil rights investigation of the shooting.

Press Association

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