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Police use tear gas on crowd outside St. Louis



By JIM SUHR and DAVID A. LIEB

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) -- Police in riot gear fired tear gas into a crowd of protesters in a St. Louis suburb where an unarmed black teenager had been fatally shot by police over the weekend, as tension rose even amid calls for collective calm.

Between two nights of unrest, a community forum hosted by the local NAACP chapter Monday night drew hundreds to a sweltering church in Ferguson, the St. Louis County suburb of 21,000 that's nearly 70 percent black and the place where 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot multiple times after being confronted by an officer.

Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said a large crowd that gathered throughout the day Monday at the site of a burned-out convenience store turned rowdy at nightfall, throwing rocks at police. Officers used tear gas and shot "beanbag rounds" meant to stun them, he said.

St. Louis County police spokesman Brian Schellman said there were at least five arrests and no reports of looting. Nearly three dozen people had been arrested following a candlelight vigil Sunday night when crowds burned stores, vandalized vehicles, assaulted reporters and taunted officers.

"People are tired. They have reached the end of their rope," said Ruth Latchison Nichols after the NAACP forum, where many more were left waiting outside once the pews reached capacity. "Enough is enough. This is a state of emergency."

National NAACP President Cornell William Brooks implored residents to "turn your anger into action" while condemning a violent response to Brown's death.

"To sneak around under the cover of darkness, to steal, to loot, to burn down your neighborhood - this does not require courage," he said. "Courage is when you strive for justice."

"Martin Luther King did not live and die so that we may steal and lie in the middle of the night," he added.

The FBI has opened an investigation into Brown's death, looking into possible civil rights violations. Witnesses have said that Brown had his hands raised when the unidentified officer approached with his weapon drawn and fired repeatedly.

Brown's parents have been among those calling for calm. His family, who had planned to drop him off at a technical college Monday to begin his studies, have asked people to share any information and videos they might have related to the shooting.

Authorities have so far been vague about exactly what led the officer to open fire, except to say that the shooting - which is being investigated by the St. Louis County police at the smaller city's request - was preceded by a scuffle of some kind with a man in which the officer's weapon discharged one time inside a patrol car.

Investigators have refused to publicly disclose the race of the officer, who is now on administrative leave. But Phillip Walker said he was on the porch of an apartment complex overlooking the scene when he heard a shot and saw a white officer with Brown on the street.

Brown "was giving up in the sense of raising his arms and being subdued," Walker told The Associated Press. The officer "had his gun raised and started shooting the individual in the chest multiple times." The officer then "stood over him and shot him" after the victim fell wounded.

Dorian Johnson offered a similar account, telling KMOV-TV that he and Brown were walking home from a convenience store when a police officer told them to get out of the street and onto the sidewalk. Johnson said they kept walking, which caused the officer to confront them from his car and again after getting out of the vehicle.

Johnson said the first time the officer fired, he and Brown got scared and ran away.

"He shot again, and once my friend felt that shot, he turned around and put his hands in the air, and he started to get down," Johnson said. "But the officer still approached with his weapon drawn and fired several more shots."

"We wasn't causing harm to nobody," Johnson said. "We had no weapons on us at all."

Walker said that he did not see a scuffle or the circumstances that preceded the first gunshot.

Jackson, the Ferguson police chief, said there's no video footage of the shooting from the apartment complex or from any police dashboard cameras or body-worn cameras that the department recently bought but has not yet put to use.

Some civil rights leaders have drawn comparisons between Brown's death and that of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was fatally shot by a Florida neighborhood watch organizer who was later acquitted of murder charges.

"Instead of celebrating his future, they are having to plan his funeral," said Benjamin Crump, a family attorney who also represented Martin's relatives after he was slain in 2012 in Florida.

I don't want to sugarcoat it," Crump added. Brown "was executed in broad daylight."

---

Associated Press reporters Jim Salter, Jeff Roberson, Jim Suhr and David Lieb in Ferguson and Eric Tucker in Washington and AP researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York contributed to this report.

---

Follow Alan Scher Zagier on Twitter at http://twitter.com/azagier

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.


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tgarcia201 August 11 2014 at 4:21 PM

IT AINT SUMMER WITHOUT A BLACK RIOT

Flag Reply +100 rate up
19 replies
cchandlr August 11 2014 at 4:23 PM

But all the rioting is ok. No civil rights or any other kind of violations there.

Flag Reply +101 rate up
14 replies
sports August 11 2014 at 4:13 PM

How about the FBI looking into the burning of buildings and the looting.Plenty of animals on film

Flag Reply +99 rate up
28 replies
Axel August 11 2014 at 4:15 PM

OB's Nazi's to do his dirty work...where's the Hate Crime probe for the 12 yr old black kid that stabbed the younger white kid???? What a bunch of crap!

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25 replies
Alton August 11 2014 at 4:15 PM

We the only ones who can shoot our own. That's ok and we won't protest. We just want a reason to loot and rob the innocent and make them victims. We be hypocrites....we just don't know it.

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5 replies
rimit9 August 11 2014 at 4:17 PM

The FBI is part Of Holders little kingdom, I bet he really will get tough with the looters, (after he gets his new big screen). What a joke...These people remind me a lot of Hamas demonstrators.

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7 replies
flbuyer1 August 11 2014 at 4:20 PM

LOL who "loots & burns stores" during a candlelight vigil? Three guesses.........

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22 replies
mhammer491 August 11 2014 at 4:20 PM

I wonder if AG Holder would have ordered the investigation if it had been a White person who had been shot? I think not!

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35 replies
Pat August 11 2014 at 4:21 PM

oh, just bypass the FBI and just send it on up to Uncle Eric Holder to review it, and then he can send it on up to this young man's Baby Daddy Barack Obama ...

cuz I'm sure King Obama will eventually come out to proclaim ... if I had ANOTHER SON, he would probably look like this thug (and act like him too)

Obama is the most UNLAWFUL POTUS the USA has ever had!

LIKE FATHER ... LIKE HIS SONS

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25 replies
BroPower August 11 2014 at 4:43 PM

The Brown boy brought his death upon himself.
The cop told him to get off the street and stop walking down the traffic lane.
The boy ignored the officer and when confronted tried to snatch the cops gun!
The shooting and killing of that boy was justified.
And
as Obama's pals will tell you,
"never let a good crisis go to waste".
And these blacks are making the most of the opportunity to loot every business in the area...!
I wish the cops would shoot many more thugs like that brown boy.....

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44 replies
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