[QODLink]
Americas

Ferguson tense after emergency state declared

Several arrested during curfew in Ferguson imposed following violent protests over police shooting of black teenager.

Last updated: 17 Aug 2014 12:16
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Remaining protesters chanted 'No justice! No curfew!' as the curfew in Ferguson took effect on Sunday [Reuters]

Police said they fired smoke and tear gas canisters into a crowd of defiant protesters in the St Louis suburb of Ferguson where an unarmed black teenager had been shot by a white police officer while walking down the street.

Seven protesters were arrested after the curfew took effect at midnight (05:00 GMT) on Sunday morning as part of a state of emergency declared by the governor of Missouri state.

A couple of hundred remaining protesters chanted "No justice! No curfew!".

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 canisters into the crowd of protesters.

Racially charged protests

The unrest between police and protesters came after Governor Jay Nixon on Saturday declared a state of emergency following a week of racially charged protests. The demonstrations started after police officer Darren Wilson, 28, shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown on August 9 as he and a friend walked down a street that runs through an apartment complex where Brown's grandmother lives.

On Saturday afternoon, Nixon and other officials came face to face with angry members of the community during a tense news conference at a church near Ferguson.

"The eyes of the world are watching. This is the test of whether a community, this community, any community, can break the cycle of fear, distrust and violence, and replace them with peace, strength and, ultimately, justice," Nixon, a Democrat, told the gathering.

Some in the crowd reacted angrily to the announcement of the curfew and said the police officer who killed Brown must be prosecuted for murder if peace is to return to the community.

"I think it's an antagonistic decision to not allow people to express their freedom of speech. It's an overreaction,'' protester Darren Alexander, 57, said.

Brown's family and supporters have demanded for days that the officer who shot Brown be held accountable.

The US Department of Justice is investigating the shooting for any civil rights violations, and the St Louis County Police department also has launched a probe.

351

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.