PHOTOS: Riots, looting after fatal shooting of Missouri teen by police

Confrontations between police and residents of a St. Louis suburb raged into the night Sunday after the fatal weekend shooting of a teen by an officer.

Crowds gathered Sunday night for a candlelight vigil for Michael Brown, whose shooting death sparked tensions in the Missouri town of Ferguson.

The peaceful gathering turned tense as protesters hurled bottles at officers and kicked police cars parked on the streets with blue lights flashing.

Stoic police in riot gear watched as young men knelt before them, hands up in protest to symbolize surrender. Angry mobs broke into businesses and hauled out items such as clothes, tires and hair extensions.

“We will stay out here as long as you are!” protesters yelled at police.

Conflicting stories

Witnesses said Brown,18, was unarmed and had his hands in the air when a Ferguson police officer shot and killed him Saturday.

But authorities said that was not the case.

“The genesis of this was a physical confrontation,” said Jon Belmar, chief of the St. Louis County Police Department. The local police called in his department to conduct an independent investigation.

The Ferguson police officer tried to leave his vehicle just before the shooting, but Brown pushed him back into the car, “physically assaulted” him and struggled over his weapon, according to Belmar.

Brown was eventually shot about 35 feet from the vehicle, the police chief said. He declined to provide more details, saying he didn’t want to “prejudice” the case. Ferguson Police said its cars do not have dashboard cameras.

Multiple gunshots

Shell casings collected at the scene were from the officer’s weapon, Belmar said. A medical examiner will issue a ruling on how many times the teen was shot.

“It was more than just a couple,” the police chief said.

But witnesses gave a different account. They said Brown did nothing to instigate the shooting and appeared to be surrendering when he was killed. Brown was spending the summer in the neighborhood with his grandmother Desuirea Harris, she told KMOV.

“My son just turned 18 and graduated high school and he didn’t bother nobody,” his mother, Lesley McSpadden, told CNN affiliate KSDK.

Brown was supposed to start classes at Vatterott College on Monday, she said.

Antonio French, an alderman in nearby St. Louis, said the community is outraged.

“People have a lot of anger and are frustrated,” he said. “They don’t have recourse in the system, and it happens often in this country, and it has boiled over. I think people are angry and looking for a reason to let it out tonight.”

ATM hauled out of gas station

He said a local QuikTrip gas station was looted and an ATM dragged out.

“This QuikTrip is where things started yesterday with this case, based on various accounts,” French said. “Mike and his friend were accused of stealing gum from the store or some sort of cigarettes.”

Demonstrators held their hands in the air and chanted, “We are Michael Brown.” Others held signs that said, “No justice, no peace” and another that read, “Police stops should not = dead kids.”

Family retains Trayvon Martin’s lawyer

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles urged the community to stay calm and not escalate the situation.

“We don’t know what happened, and there are lots of conflicting stories,” Knowles said. “Unfortunately, there will have to be some time taken to understand what happened. Hopefully, we will get to an understanding, and justice will be served.”

The officer who shot Brown is on paid administrative leave during the investigation and will be available to talk to county homicide detectives.

He has been with the force for six years and will be required to undergo two psychological evaluations before returning to duty, Belmar said.

Attorney General Eric Holder has instructed the department’s civil rights division to monitor the developments in the case, the Justice Department said.

The FBI said it is assisting police in its investigation and will review the findings.

Benjamin Crump, the lawyer who handled Trayvon Martin’s case, will represent the family. Martin, 17, was killed in 2012 by a Florida neighborhood watch organizer, who was acquitted of murder charges.

Ferguson, which has a population of about 21,000 people, is 67% African-American.

TM & © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

For more on this story, check out coverage from our sister station KTVI here.

6 comments

  • D Sam

    Angry mobs broke into businesses and hauled out items such as clothes, tires and hair extensions and ATM’s?
    “We will stay out here as long they are! clothes, tires and hair extensions and ATM’s ” protesters yelled

  • mw

    NO DONT GET THAT LAWYER ! HES A JOKE YOU NEED SOMEONE WITH MORE COURTROOM TIME ! HE IS TO EASY NOT HARD ENOUGH !GET SOMEONE ELSE PLEASE !

  • Earl H Strong Jr.

    To begin, I am African American. I grew up in the “hood” and a middle class community and still associate with it. I have great appreciation for my life, my family, my history, and the sacrifices of those that came before me that brought great ease and accommodation to my life, my family, the “hood” and middle class community I grew up in and the doors afforded me and humanity in the past, present and future collectively. I identify myself and my ethnicity for the sake of objectivity as I complete my comment here online. I offer these words to all of us:

    I weep greatly for the loss of life within ALL races and for the degradation of our value (individually and collectively), our humanity, and our promise as a result of actions that bring insult and injury to such loss both directly AND indirectly.

    I speak to hoodlums, heirs, and everyone between for any and all ethnicities when I offer these words. ANY loss of life is great loss to us all for it is “one less” on the march toward promise. Every effort and investment incorporated into that life becomes null and void . . . and is IRREPLACABLE to us all. No one can replicate, replace, transverse that journey in concert with that lost life.

    Understand that I use such references of those lost during acts of futility as examples within any race . . . any creed. So, it should be noted that the names mentioned herein are of men and women of different ethnicities. There is a pain, unimaginable, among all races that comes with the loss of lives as a result of futility. Whether brother, sister, mother, father, aunt, uncle, cousin, second generation, third generation, or otherwise, the loss of ANY LIFE through such futility will leave every one of us one short of imagination, vision, purpose, validity . . . promise. However, to degrade such loss through looting and actions that bring shame to us all further validates the insult and injury pre-existing to the life itself (i.e: discrimination, inequality, etc.).

    What value does looting give to the loss of life experienced and to the history and sacrifices of those before us? It is not a matter of the 90% or the 10%, especially when 95% of the media publicity available to account, and recount, such action BECOMES a reflection of the whole. I cannot imagine what prompts a person or even a people to allow the energy of such loss of life to become the generator for actions that degrade and deface THE GREATER ethnicity and humanity as a whole. Not one bag of weave nor one box of cigarettes will provide food to the hungry . . . give water to the thirsty . . . or promote honoring the life or journey to be remembered. Individual desensitization and dissociation with the greater picture is practically blasphemy that produces incision toward “bleed out” of essence . . . endurance. The tears of all generations who see and hear of such accounts, and recounts, overflows into the history books that outline everything from who we are, where we came from, even the expectation of where we are headed . . . leaving the begging question: what has happened to ALL of us?

    I really do not know if anyone understand where I am coming from here, but I do believe that everyone one of us has been both with and without in our lives. However, I also firmly believe that even the worst of us are not without accountability to who we are, both who and what we represent, and bricklaying both individually and collectively. I protest stupidity, ignorance, dominance, and those elements of humanity that shatter the very humanity available to us all through which we persevere toward promise. I flow with tears for the loss of life that comes from the use of such elements bathing in those tears to remind myself of my value, my being . . . my purpose and the pursuit towards my purpose . . . and the understanding that self-preservation is just as valuable as purpose, just as important as hope, just as critical as definition . . . just as momentous as existence.

    If such is NOT the case, then all of us await a bullet only to have our bodies left laying dead in the streets lacking acknowledgement and consideration.

    I was blessed to wake this morning with my heart and mind burdened and no one to reach out to . . . to give myself the freedom of voice . . . to allow my voice the presence of atmosphere . . . until I decided to reach out via social media outlets.

    For me, it wasn’t that someone like “me” was lost. It wasn’t even about the futile acts involving that loss or those acts involved in the aftermath of such loss. For ME, it was that someone like “US” was lost . . . someone with pride, humility, hope, strength, opportunity, vision, and access to promise. Race mattered not for me because we all lose a piece of our humanity every time one of us passes away from an act of futility. I am African American, American, male . . . but I was a human before any of those defining titles or adjectives could be applied to my person.

    We didn’t simply lose a black young man in Ferguson . . . we lost a piece of our humanity. Though we as humans (collectively) must establish meaning and resolve through such an act of futility (as well as striving to work together to prevent this from happening again) we must NOT allow ourselves to lose sight of the fact that a piece of all of us is gone in some way, shape, form, or fashion and that fragment should be celebrated because there were contributions to the greater “IN” us (in humanity) rather than toward the “LESSER” in our errs. We should seek upward momentum in our humanity and morality to ensure that we increase our illumination as a species built and meant for existence.

    We MUST allow the walk in protest to co-exist with the pursuit toward our illumination as a whole.

    To the families and histories of people like Michael Brown, Travon Martin, Renisha McBride, Jonathan Ferrell, Patrick Dorismond, Travis McNeil, Bryan Jones, Duane Brown, Stephon Watts, Manuel Loggins, Jr., Justin Sipp, Dante Price, Michael Lembhard, Kendrec Lavelle McDade, Ervin Jefferson, Rekia Boyd, Brian C. Claunch, (and the numerous other lost men and women not mentioned here but identified in stories on more than 61 pages of search results via Google.com), to ALL communities (both urban and rural), ALL ethnicities (both rich and poor), ALL sexualities (both homo and hetero), ALL countries, and ALL lives and minds impacted by the loss of even ONE bricklayer: I pray that our tears are transformed into adhesive strengthening our pavers so that every drop of adhesive, every paver laid, every step tested, taken and to come offer accommodation to the substance of memory’s foundation, reminding us that EVERY LIFE (living and lived) is and was meant to be both in purpose . . .

    . . . TOWARD PURPOSE.

    REMEMBER: every letter of each word and every step along the journey has the conviction of PROMISE because there IS PROMISE in TODAY whether tomorrow is promised to us or not. Furthermore, repetition of certain conversations can be both a gift and a curse . . . for in as much as it provides reminder of history, it also validates and strengthens the existence and perseverance of errs in our humanity . . . both individually and collectively . . . depending on perspective and presenter alike, of course.

    Posted with great honor and humility.

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