Riots in U.S. town after police kill teen
The killing of an unarmed African-American teenager, Michael Brown (18), by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, sparked off a wave of protests that gave way to rioting on Sunday evening as racial tensions gripped the town.
Mr. Brown was shot multiple times — some said he had at least 10 bullet wounds — on the streets of Ferguson during an altercation with a police officer, according to reports.
Although Jon Belmar, Chief of the St. Louis County Police Department, said “a physical confrontation” was the reason behind the shooting, specifically that the concerned police officer was “physically assaulted” as he attempted to exit his vehicle, this account appeared in stark contrast with eyewitness reports.
On Monday, law enforcement sources said that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was “taking over the investigation,” into the case.
Multiple media reports quoted witnesses who said that Mr. Brown “did nothing to instigate the shooting and appeared to be surrendering when he was killed.” They added that that there was a struggle in the police car and at least one shot was fired inside the vehicle.
Photographs by eyewitnesses appeared to suggest that Mr. Brown was found lying face down in the street some distance from the car, approximately 35 feet away.
Following a candlelight vigil for Mr. Brown that was attended by thousands over the weekend, people reportedly “smashed car windows and carried away armloads of looted goods from stores.”
Police cars vandalised
Reports from Ferguson cited said eyewitnesses saw people vandalise police cars and kick in windows and television footage showed windows busted out of a TV station van, and protesters standing atop police cars or taunting officers “who stood stoic, often in riot gear.”
Mr. Brown’s mother Lesley McSpadden said to another local media channel, “My son just turned 18 and graduated high school and he didn’t bother nobody.”