Ferguson Sees New Police Conflict Overnight
Police in riot dress clashed with small groups of protesters in Ferguson, Mo., early Saturday morning, confirming that tensions over the killing of unarmed African-American teenager Michael Brown have not disappeared.
The Guardian reports:
The flareups, breaking a period of relative calm, came after police released surveillance footage that implicated Michael Brown, 18, in the theft of a packet of cigars from a convenience store a few minutes before he was shot. Brown’s family condemned the revelation as a “character assassination” designed to smear the teenager and divert attention from the actions of police.
One of the flashpoints in the early hours of Saturday came at the store where the robbery was alleged to have taken place. Police fired a teargas canister at a crowd of around 200 people who had gathered there. Some protesters threw bottles at officers in riot gear and shouted “hands up, don’t shoot”, the chant that has come to characterise the protests. According to some accounts, Brown had his hands up when he was shot.
A small crowd later looted the convenience store. A meat market was also looted and other businesses had windows smashed. Police did not intervene.
Other demonstrators and community leaders pleaded with the looters to stop. Claire McCaskill, Missouri’s senior US senator, asked outside observers to recognise that the looters represented only a fraction of the protests.
Read more here.
— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly