News / USA

Protesters, Police Clash in Ferguson, Missouri

  • Police advance to clear the crowds during a protest for Michael Brown, Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 18, 2014.
  • Police officers detain a demonstrator during the protest of Michael Brown's shooting death in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 18, 2014.
  • Demonstrators protest the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 18, 2014.
  • A man tries to recover after being treated for tear gas exposure, Ferguson, Aug. 18, 2014.
  • A man is lead away after being detained by police, Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 18, 2014.
  • Demonstrators march through the streets in protest of the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, Atlanta, Georgia, Aug. 18, 2014.
  • Brown family attorney Daryl Parks points to an autopsy diagram of the head wound that was likely the fatal shot that killed Michael Brown, during a news conference, Ferguson, Missouri Aug. 18, 2014.
  • A man participates in a protest for Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by a police officer, Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 18, 2014.
VOA News

Protesters and police clashed overnight in the central U.S. town of Ferguson, Missouri, amid tensions linked to the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer.

Police fired stun grenades and tear gas at crowds on the streets of Ferguson, which had descended into chaos following peaceful protests.  Firebombs and bottles were thrown in the direction of heavily armored police.

Rapper Nelly joined the march Monday night, hours before police said they came under heavy gunfire and arrested 31 people during another night of racially charged protests.

Nelly, a native of the St. Louis area near Ferguson, wore a t-shirt printed with #MikeBrown as he marched the streets with protesters who carried bullhorns and signs with messages such as "Stop Killing Us''.

The violence has captured headlines around the world, raising questions
about the state of U.S. race relations nearly six years after Americans elected their first black president.

Curfew imposed

An overnight curfew has been imposed and the National Guard, has been deployed in the St. Louis suburb of 21,000 people to stop looting and burning that have punctuated the protests.  The troops arrived earlier Monday at the request of Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, to bolster police forces following days of violent protests.

National Guard troops could be seen on the fringes of the gathering. 

State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, told reporters early Tuesday that police came under heavy attack but did not fire a shot.  He said two people were wounded by shots fired from within the crowd of protesters.  Many demonstrators seemed to be defying orders from police to disperse, and Johnson said 31 people were arrested.

He noted that most of the protesters were peaceful, but that a small minority of people turned the demonstrations violent.  He said officials will not let "criminals" define the community of Ferguson.

"But anyone who has been at these protests understands that there is a dangerous dynamic during the night. It allows a small number of violent agitators to hide in the crowd and then attempt to create chaos," Johnson said. "The catalyst can be bottles thrown, Molotov cocktails, and of course shots fired. Protesters are peaceful and respectful. Protesters don't clash with police. They don't throw Molotov cocktails. It is criminals who throw Molotov cocktails and fire shots that endangers lives and property."

The standoff occurred near the street where Michael Brown, 18, was fatally shot by a local police officer on August 9. 

The latest clashes appeared to be less intense than those between police and demonstrators late Sunday, when police in body armor and gas masks, accompanied by armored vehicles, fired tear gas at protesters marching toward them. Police said at least two of the protesters were wounded by shots fired from within a crowd of demonstrators.

Independent autopsy results
 

The Brown family's attorney Daryl Parks speaks during a news conference to share preliminary results of a second autopsy done on 18-year-old Michael Brown, in St. Louis County, Missouri, Aug. 18, 2014.The Brown family's attorney Daryl Parks speaks during a news conference to share preliminary results of a second autopsy done on 18-year-old Michael Brown, in St. Louis County, Missouri, Aug. 18, 2014.
x
The Brown family's attorney Daryl Parks speaks during a news conference to share preliminary results of a second autopsy done on 18-year-old Michael Brown, in St. Louis County, Missouri, Aug. 18, 2014.
The Brown family's attorney Daryl Parks speaks during a news conference to share preliminary results of a second autopsy done on 18-year-old Michael Brown, in St. Louis County, Missouri, Aug. 18, 2014.

An autopsy conducted on behalf of Brown's family showed he was shot at least six times, including twice in the head. The path of one bullet indicates he may have been lowering his head in surrender when the fatal shot hit, according to Brown family attorney Daryl Parks.

According to police, the officer involved in the shooting said he fired initially after Brown reached into his police car.

Parks told a news conference one bullet hit Brown in the very top of his head and another shattered his right eye.

"His head was in a downward position,'' Parks said. "Given those kind of facts, this officer should have been arrested,'' Parks said.

There were no signs of struggle with the officer and no gunshot residue on the body.

Darren Wilson, 28, the officer who shot Brown as the teenager was walking through a Ferguson residential neighborhood  with a friend, was put on paid administrative leave and is in hiding.

Edward Magee, a spokesman for the St. Louis County prosecutor's office, said the case could be presented this week to a grand jury, which will decide whether Wilson will be indicted.

Holder to arrive Wednesday

On Monday, President Barack Obama said U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will travel to Ferguson on Wednesday to get an update on the federal probe into the shooting death of the black teenager, 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Obama said Holder will meet with Department of Justice and FBI officials on the federal, independent civil rights investigation into the August 9 killing of Brown. Holder will also meet with community leaders on efforts to restore peace and calm to the town outside the city of St. Louis.

The president said while a vast majority of people are protesting peacefully, he urged the "small minority" of demonstrators to "not give into anger by looting or carrying guns or attacking police." Obama said such actions only serve to heighten tensions and chaos and undermine "rather than advance justice."  He also said "there is no excuse for excessive force by police" or any action that denies the rights of those peacefully protesting.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday called on authorities in Ferguson to use restraint and uphold the rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters

You May Like

Video Anti-Muslim Sponsor of Texas Cartoon Contest Draws Ire

Pamela Geller's supporters say she speaks truth about sensitive topic, while critics say she preaches 'that Islam is inherently evil' More

East Meets West in Exhibition Showing Chinese Influence on Fashion

Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition juxtaposes influence of art, imagery and culture, from Imperial China to the present day, on Western fashion and design More

South Africa Begins New Love Affair With Vinyl Records

Enthusiasts say the 'rebirth' of vinyl is resulting in a rebirth of music in South Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: TRUTHISM from: LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK
August 19, 2014 9:19 PM
All clear thinking people agree that this is a sad story and the people have a right to be "concerned", however this rioting, looting, violence and other criminal actions has to be stopped now!
When you assess criminal statistics in the United States everyday there are approximately 34,000 people who get arrested for a variety of crimes, most being violent and most offenders are young black males! Almost 40% of black males are in some phase of the correctional system here in the USA! That's an appalling figure, but you'll never hear that from the NY Times... Yearly, there are approximately 400 police shootings, which is relatively low when you compare the nature(s) of the crimes. The majority of crimes in the USA are committed by blacks. Young black males shoot and kill people (most victims being other young black males) everyday here in the United States, but the ultra-liberal media never addresses these statistics because they're afraid of being labeled a racist, when in actuality it's the TRUTH! Nearly every black community in the United States is unstable with high crime rates. Black Americans and others need to let the justice system play out and stop this violent rioting, as it's opportunism at it's worst.
Blacks in the United States have it better than any other country in the world, relative to income, life-style, and federal income assistance. It would be interesting to see how the Chinese communist government would handle these people who have decided to dedicate this shooting into an opportunity to commit crimes and cause destruction.
The rioters/criminals clearly have no sense of civics, community, nationalism, or respect. There lawlessness speaks volumes and it's beyond disappointing to most Americans.

by: Wanxia Liao from: Toronto
August 19, 2014 2:02 PM
Being racially persecuted by the US and Canada are not only Blacks, but also other racial minorities like me, a Chinese. I successfully challenged a White supremacy theory at University of Toronto, got retaliated, complained to a human rights commission, the commission forced me to testify under the testimony requirement of Canadian law. I was then charged and convicted for my testimony for “threats”, contrary to the testimony immunity provided by that law. The Commission did so in conspiracy with the U of T, and U of California. I lost everything in life for it. Then the civil courts in US and Canada joined the oppression, covered up all the true crimes against me. Google my name.

by: Daniel Phelan
August 19, 2014 1:40 PM
Officer Wilson displayed terrible judgement at minimum. Michael was not being arrested at the time of his killing. He was just being asked to get out of the street. He was shot 6 times, (twice in the face) over it. Michael did not steal anything from the store. The store clerk never called the police. I hope this cop suffers for the rest of his life for what he did.

There are holes in the Ferguson Police Dept narrative being disseminated. The Ferguson Police Dept is terribly cynical for trying to show some connection in justifying a shooting of an unarmed citizen to a robbery that never happened. I agree that this was an attempt at character assassination. We need to stop tragedies like these. Thankfully violent crime in our country is on the decline. Violence against the police is on the decline. What about violence perpetrated by police?

Here is a sensible solution to this problem: Police in Rialto, Calif, started wearing video cameras in February 2012. The results were astounding. The volume of complaints filed against officers fell by 88 percent compared with the year before. Use of force by police officers fell nearly 60 percent. Those are undeniable figures.

We should force every police officer to wear a camera. Every single one of them. Unfortunately, trust just isn't in the cards anymore. We have to force accountability, whether it be from the police or from the citizen.

by: Wanxia Liao from: Toronto
August 19, 2014 11:57 AM
I just read a Black scholar’s writing – The real looting of Ferguson is the legal looting of black people. I can’t agree more on this: “if they get a criminal record while unemployed, they will effectively be locked out from employment forever”. I am a live example on this, and, I am not a Black, but a Chinese. I’ve been criminalized and persecuted for challenging a White supremacy theory in a university, by the US and Canadian gov’t, and since then, I’ve been effectively locked out from employment forever, from a successful person to an unemployed, almost homeless today. If I had the power of the Black people, I would do the same thing. Go Black people!

by: Benjamin A from: Colorado
August 19, 2014 10:01 AM
I feel like some are trying to start a race war. But you know, we aren't as stupid as we may seem(the public).

by: Lou from: Atlanta
August 19, 2014 9:16 AM
Surprised it took this long for the powder keg to explode. Here in GA. there have been numerous murders like this one. And no one will forget the Kathryn Johnston murder. Cops are still doing time for that one!

by: DHH from: HWNB
August 19, 2014 7:17 AM
The fact that a leader of the New Black Panthers (renamed Black Lawyers for Justice) is working directly with authorities to control protesters is bizarre given that Shabazz has been characterized as a “racist black nationalist with a long, well-documented history of violently anti-Semitic remarks and accusations about the inherent evil of white people,” and is “particularly skilled at orchestrating provocative protests.”

The FBI also sent out an alert last week warning that New Black Panthers had arrived in the area and were “advocating violence against police.” Given the history of New Black Panther members working with federal authorities as informants, as well as the Justice Department’s protection of the group in the past, the role of Malik Shabazz in corralling protesters at the behest of police suggests that he is colluding with authorities to suppress the constitutional rights of demonstrators in Ferguson. But will VOA, do any truthful reporting? NO!
In Response

by: meanbill from: USA
August 19, 2014 9:54 AM
Paul Watson co-founder of GreenPeace "quote" said it;.. "It doesn't matter what's true, it only matters what you want them to believe, is true."..... (FALSE DICHOTOMY).... "Where you make the lie sound true, and make the truth, sound like it's untrue." What's said in public in front of the news media, isn't what's said in private, when no news media is present, like in politics?

by: Lilu from: Ukraine
August 19, 2014 5:50 AM
USA is a great country and respects the rights of all its citizens,black or white.
In Response

by: meanbill from: USA
August 19, 2014 10:21 AM
America is the greatest country on earth, but as US President Barack Obama once "quote" said on June 05,2007;.. Black 'Quiet Riots" have been building all across America, and these black "Quiet Riots" happen everyday.... (the blacks feel disenfranchised and left out of the American dream)...

by: Michael from: S-Pb
August 19, 2014 4:55 AM
If Russia does not will affect the rebels in Ferguson US government will introduce new sanctions!

by: Marya Wolffe from: Grid consign
August 19, 2014 4:51 AM
Fifty years ago our legislators passed the Civil Rights Act. Fast forward FIFTY YEARS...a young black man was shot SIX TIMES by a white police officer. I don't see the progress.
In Response

by: jeffrey
August 19, 2014 10:57 AM
you don't see progress Maria.
1960 Ferguson population 21000 98% white zero crime 2% AfroAm
1990 21300 75% 25% AA
2014 21195 24% crime ridden 73 %AA
I see big progress in Ferguson;There is no so big progress in Springfield,Mo, raise of AA is only 2 to 4 and we have real problem with no raise of crime here
Maria, could you tell me how many people on welfare and woman households with kids in Ferguson and Springfield,could you tell why thousands people are on Ferguson s streets in workday?Are they working over there? Or looking for jobs? If they are struggling racism ,let will go to Russia and they will know what does real racism and Nazism mean ! Let they ask about racism the Africans whom have live in Russia!

I don't believe the Ferguson crowds of the store looters are what about MLK and Rose Parks dreamed. Yes,the robber died and police .not crowds of looters and gang members should investigate the case... example last year a black gang murdered three white girls (14yo) in Oakland,CA ,for entertainment only -and no rallies,silence in media

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Mass Grave Exposes Entrenched Trafficking in Thailandi
X
May 05, 2015 5:50 PM
Police in southern Thailand have found two more camps believed to have held human trafficking victims -- one containing a buried skeleton. This comes just days after officials announced arrests in connection with the grisly discovery of 26 bodies in a mass grave at another location. Officials suspect as many as 400 mostly ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar were being held for ransom at the remote camp near the Malaysian border. Steve Sandford reports on developments in the case.
Video

Video Mass Grave Exposes Entrenched Trafficking in Thailand

Police in southern Thailand have found two more camps believed to have held human trafficking victims -- one containing a buried skeleton. This comes just days after officials announced arrests in connection with the grisly discovery of 26 bodies in a mass grave at another location. Officials suspect as many as 400 mostly ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar were being held for ransom at the remote camp near the Malaysian border. Steve Sandford reports on developments in the case.
Video

Video Russia's 'Victory Day' Glory Over Nazis Overshadowed by Ukraine

ussia is preparing to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, known since the Soviet era as “The Great Patriotic War,” with a massive parade on May 9th of military hardware and millions of medals handed out to veterans or their relatives. But critics say the Soviet-style display of power and nationalism overshadows tragic scars during and after the war that still influence politics and foreign policy, especially in the current Ukraine crisis.
Video

Video WWII Anniversary Brings Old Friends and New Worries

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II has special significance, with Russia becoming more assertive in Ukraine and sending its military planes to the edges of western countries’ airspace. Changes in the geostrategic balance and the transatlantic relationship are felt across the continent, not least in German towns that have hosted U.S. military bases since the defeat of Nazi Germany. VOA’s Al Pessin visited Schweinfurt, Germany, where a large base closed last year.
Video

Video Abraham Lincoln Funeral Re-created for 150th Civil War Anniversary

Over the last four years, commemorative events to mark the 150th anniversary of the U.S. Civil War have brought thousands of visitors to battlefields and historic landmarks across the country. As VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, the final event in the Civil War's sesquicentennial honors the final journey home of the slain American President, Abraham Lincoln.
Video

Video Campaign Raises Money to 'Uncuff' Journalists

Beginning Sunday – World Press Freedom Day – the Committee to Protect Journalists, a private U.S. group, is launching a campaign to bring attention to their plight and encourage efforts to free them. Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Volunteers Pull Together to Aid Baltimore Riot Victims

Calm has returned to Baltimore, Maryland, after authorities lifted an overnight curfew imposed almost a week ago to stem the rioting that followed the funeral of Freddie Gray - the 25-year-old black man who died of spinal injuries suffered while in police custody. Six police officers, three of them African-American, have been charged in connection with his death. Baltimore is now trying to get back to normal, in part with the help of volunteers who responded to calls to help those in the city'
Video

Video From Aleppo To Berlin: Band of Brothers Escapes Civil War

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war in their country and journeyed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean. It is a terrifying ordeal with dangers at every turn. A group of Syrian brothers and their friends describe their ordeal as they try to reach Germany. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports. ...
Video

Video Rural Nepal Suffers Brunt of Quake’s Devastation

Nepal is still coming to grips with the full extent of the devastation and misery caused by last Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Some of the hardest-hit communities have been cut off by landslides making it difficult to assess the precise toll. A VOA News crew has been among the first to reach a few of the smaller, remote communities. Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Sindhupolchak district, east of Kathmandu, which suffered greatly in Nepal’s worst quake in more than 80 years.
Video

Video Obama Praises Work of 3 Immigrant Journalists

President Barack Obama met with three immigrant journalists at the White House Friday to praise them for their work ahead of World Press Freedom Day, May 3. In attendance: Dieu Cay (his pen name) a blogger from Vietnam recently released from prison; Lily Mengesha from Ethiopia who was harassed and detained for exposing the marrying off of young girls as child brides, and Fatima Tlisova, an ethnic Circassian from the North Caucasus region of Russia, who works for VOA's Russian Service.
Video

Video Middle East Atheist Channel Defies Taboo

In Egypt, a deeply religious country in a deeply religious region, atheism is not only taboo, it is dangerous. It is sometimes even criminal to publicly declare nonbelief. Despite the danger, one group of activists is pushing back with a new online channel that defends the right not to believe. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Nepal Quake Survivors Tell Their Stories

Against all hope, rescuers have found a few more survivors of the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal last Saturday. Mountain climbers and hikers trapped in remote places also have been airlifted to safety, and aid is finally reaching people in the areas closest to the quake's epicenter. Survivors and rescuers are now recounting their experience. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Lessons for Germany, Europe Remain on Anniversary of WWII's End

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II will be marked May 8-9 in all European countries except Germany, which lost the war. How is the war viewed there, and what impact is it still having? From Berlin, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video Nepal Town Destroyed By Quake Counts Itself Lucky

Foreign search teams on Wednesday began reaching some of the communities outside Kathmandu that suffered worse damage than Nepal’s capital from last Saturday’s massive earthquake. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman is in Sankhu - a town of about 10,000 people - where there is relief the death toll is not higher despite widespread destruction.
Video

Video Somali Hotel Chain Owner Strives to Make a Difference

Many in the Somali diaspora are returning home to make a new life despite the continuing risks. Since 2011 when a military campaign against Al-Shabab militants began making progress, members of the diaspora community have come back to open hospitals, schools, hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Abdulaziz Billow in Mogadishu profiles the owner of a chain of hotels and restaurants who is helping to bring change to the once-deadly Somali capital.
Video

Video Child Migrants Cross Mediterranean Alone, Face Unknown Future

Among the thousands of migrants making the deadly journey by boat to Europe, there are unaccompanied girls and boys. Some have been sent by relatives to earn money; others are orphaned or fleeing war. From a shelter for young migrants in the Sicilian town of Caltagirone, VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.

Poll: Baltimore Police Charged

Poll archive

VOA Blogs