August 11th, 2014
05:41 AM ET

Outrage, Unrest Erupt After Fatal Shooting of Missouri Teen by Police

We'll speak with Ferguson, Missouri, Mayor James Knowles on "New Day" at 8am ET.

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Confrontations between police and residents of a St. Louis suburb raged into the night after a 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 flickering.

Young men knelt before stoic officers in riot gear, hands up in protest to symbolize surrender. Others looted stores and hauled out items such as clothes, tires and hair extensions.

"We will stay out here as long as you (police) are!" protesters yelled.

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 away 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.

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 issued 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."

See more on this developing story on CNN.com

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soundoff (One Response)
  1. Say No to Martial law

    Wow what a crazy bunch

    August 11, 2014 at 6:18 am | Reply

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