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Monday, June 27, 2022
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Ferguson people asked to stay home

Residents of Ferguson were urged to stay home after dark, after days of clashes with police following the shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old.

The pleas came from community leaders, who pledged to reconnect with the predominantly black community in the Missouri suburb.

Meanwhile a large c rowd gathered yesterday afternoon in nearby St Louis after officers responding to a report of a store robbery shot and killed a knife-wielding man.

Police Chief Sam Dotson said the suspect acted erratically and told responding officers to “shoot me now, kill me now”.

Ferguson’s leaders have been exploring how to increase the number of African-American applicants to the law enforcement academy and raise funds for cameras that would be attached to patrol car dashboards and officers’ vests.

“We plan to learn from this tragedy,” they said in a statement.

They asked residents to stay home at night to “allow peace to settle in” following the shooting of Michael Brown by a white police officer.

Benjamin Crump, a lawyer for Mr Brown’s family, said the teenager’s funeral and memorial service would be on Monday.

The National Guard arrived in Ferguson this week but kept its distance from the streets during another night of unrest.

Protesters filled the streets after nightfall on Monday, and officers fired tear gas and flash grenades.

Captain Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol, who is in charge of security in Ferguson, said bottles and Molotov cocktails were thrown from the crowd and some officers had come under heavy gunfire.

At least two people were shot, he said.

Police originally said 31 people were arrested, but St Louis County spokeswoman Candace Jarrett later said 57 were booked at the county jail alone, and perhaps more at other jails in the region.

Demonstrators no longer faced the neighbourhood’s midnight-to-5am curfew, but police told protesters that they could not assemble in a single spot and had to keep moving.

In St Louis, so me members of the crowd shouted “Hands up, don’t shoot,” a phrase that has become a frequent part of protests since Mr Brown’s death on August 9.

Like Mr Brown, the 23-year-old suspect killed yesterday was black. The crowd diminished, however, within hours.

In Ferguson, a photographer for Getty Images was arrested while covering the demonstrations and later released. Two German reporters were arrested and detained for three hours.

Conservative German daily Die Welt said correspondent Ansgar Graw and reporter Frank Herrmann, who writes for German regional papers, were arrested after allegedly failing to follow police instructions to vacate an empty street. They said they followed police orders.

The latest clashes came after a day in which a pathologist hired by Mr Brown’s family said he suffered a bullet wound to his right arm that may indicate his hands were up or his back was turned.

B ut the pathologist said the team that examined Mr Brown cannot be sure yet exactly how the wounds were inflicted until they have more information.

Witnesses have said Mr Brown’s hands were above his head when he was repeatedly shot in the street by an officer.

Police have said the officer was pushed into his squad car, then physically assaulted during a struggle over his weapon.

But Mr Brown’s friend Dorian Johnson told reporters that the officer grabbed Mr Brown’s neck and tried to pull him into the car before brandishing his weapon.

He said Mr Brown started to run and the officer pursued him, firing multiple times.

The independent post-mortem found that Mr Brown was shot at least six times, including twice in the head, the family’s lawyers and hired pathologists said.

The St Louis County medical examiner’s post-mortem found that Mr Brown was shot six to eight times in the head and chest.

A grand jury could begin hearing evidence today to decide whether the officer, Darren Wilson, should be charged over Mr Brown’s death.

Attorney General Eric Holder is scheduled to travel to Ferguson later this week to meet FBI and other officials carrying out an independent federal investigation into Mr Brown’s death.

In Washington, President Barack Obama said the vast majority of protesters in Ferguson were peaceful, but warned that a small minority was undermining justice.

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