Mo. (AP) — Anger spurred by the death of a black teenager at the hands of a
white police officer boiled over again when protesters stormed into a Missouri
convenience store — the same one Michael Brown was accused of robbing.
about 200 protesters clashed in Ferguson, Missouri, late Friday after another
tense day in the St. Louis suburb that began with authorities identifying the
officer who fatally shot Brown as 28-year-old Darren Wilson. At the same time,
Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson released documents alleging Brown had
stolen a $48.99 box of cigars from the convenience store and strong-armed a man
on his way out.
midnight, some in what had been a large, rowdy but mostly peaceful crowd broke
into that same small store, Ferguson Market & Liquor, and began looting it,
Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson said. Some protesters yelled at
the aggressors to stop what they were doing, and about a dozen people
eventually helped protect the convenience store.
police officers holding rifles and dressed in riot gear used their cars to
block a one-mile stretch of West Florissant Avenue, the street at the center of
the protests. Occasional firecrackers sounded in the distance.
Some in the
crowd began throwing rocks and other objects at police, Johnson said. One
officer was hurt; details were not immediately available. Johnson said police
backed off to try and ease the tension. No arrests were made.
to evaluate the security of the officers there and also the rioters,"
Johnson said. "We just felt it was better to move back."
he believed other stores were hit by looters. The crowd that had surrounded the
convenience store dispersed but continued north. Two men in white undershirts
threw debris through the windows of a liquor store and could be seen walking
through the store as an alarm wailed.
death had previously ignited four days of clashes with furious protesters.
Tensions eased Thursday after Gov. Jay Nixon turned oversight of the protests
over to the Missouri Highway Patrol. Gone were the police in riot gear and
armored vehicles, replaced by the new patrol commander who personally walked
through the streets with demonstrators. But Friday night marked a resurgence of
the unrest that had momentarily abated.
officers faced strong criticism earlier in the week for their use of tear gas
and rubber bullets against protesters. Johnson said one tear gas canister was
deployed Friday night after the group of rioters became unruly.
decision to spell out the allegations that Brown committed the robbery, and his
releasing of surveillance video, angered Brown's family and many in the
have attempted to taint the investigation," U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay
told protesters through a bullhorn Friday night. "They are trying to
influence a jury pool by the stunt they pulled today."
attorney Daryl Parks acknowledged the man in the footage "appears to
be" Brown. But he and others said Brown's family was blindsided by the
allegations and release of the footage. They said that even if it was Brown,
the crime didn't justify the shooting after Brown put up his hands in
surrender, as witnesses describe.
family attorney, Benjamin Crump, said police "are choosing to disseminate
information that is very strategic to try to help them justify the
video shows a man wearing a ball cap, shorts and white T-shirt grabbing a much
shorter man by his shirt near the store's door. A police report alleges Brown
grabbed the man who had come from behind the store counter and "forcefully
pushed him back" into a display rack.
officer who shot Brown, did not know the teen was a robbery suspect at the time
of the shooting and stopped Brown and a companion "because they were
walking down the middle of the street blocking traffic," Jackson said Friday.
Police said they found evidence of the stolen merchandise on Brown's body.
Wilson is a
six-year police veteran — two in neighboring Jennings and four in Ferguson —
and had no previous complaints filed against him, Jackson said, describing him
as "a gentle, quiet man" who had been "an excellent
Police Department has refused to say anything about Wilson's whereabouts, and
Associated Press reporters were unable to contact him at any addresses or phone
numbers listed under that name in the St. Louis area.
been on paid administrative leave since the shooting. St. Louis County
prosecutor Bob McCulloch said it could be weeks before the investigation wraps
County Executive Charlie Dooley asked Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster on
Friday to take over the case, saying he did not believe McCulloch could be
objective. Koster said Missouri law does not allow it unless McCulloch opts
out, and McCulloch spokesman Ed Magee said the prosecutor has no plans to
surrender the case.
the U.S. Justice Department said that FBI agents had conducted several
interviews with witnesses as part of a civil-rights investigation into Brown's
death. In the days ahead, the agents planned to canvass the neighborhood for
more information, the statement said.
David Lieb, Alan Scher Zagier and Nigel Duara in Ferguson and Jim Suhr in St.
Louis contributed to this report.
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published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Posted on Sat, August 16, 2014
by JIM SALTER, Associated Press