Ferguson, Missouri, UNITED STATES (AA) – Protesters took to streets Saturday in the Missouri city of Ferguson over the death of an 18-year-old black man following the release of the name of the police officer who shot him.
Details of the fatal encounter remain unclear. Police claim Michael Brown was shot in a scuffle but protesters say he was gunned down with his hands in the air.
Protestors had rallied for nearly a week following Brown’s death on Aug. 9, which ignited racial tensions in the predominantly black city. The city’s police force is overwhelmingly white.
The renewed demonstrations followed the release of the name of the officer — Darren Wilson — who shot Brown.
Ferguson residents took part in demonstrations across the city. A silent protest took place in front of Ferguson Police Department. Similar moments of silence have been observed across the United States, including in New York, Detroit, Chicago and San Francisco.
Juanita Young, who said her son, Malcolm Ferguson, was killed at age 23 by a New York City police officer was among those at the Ferguson Police Department. She said she understood the Brown family’s pain.
“We want justice, now!” she chanted.
Beverly Logan, a Ferguson resident, said there was no logical explanation for shooting someone whose hands were in the air.
Another protest took place at the scene of Brown’s death. The crowd marched about two kilometers (a little over a mile) to Greater St. Mark Family Church. A motorcycle group followed, chanting, “Hands up, don’t shoot.” Police did not intervene.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declared a curfew and a state of emergency Saturday in Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, in the central U.S., after clashes between police and protesters flared anew Friday night.
One person was shot and critically injured when tension rose in Ferguson and scores of demonstrators stayed in the streets Saturday night despite the curfew.
Despite the police announcements saying: “This is the police. You’re in violation of the state-imposed curfew. You must disperse immediately,” hundreds of people stayed put and defied the order.
Police have confirmed use of tear gas and the arrest of seven protesters.
On Friday, Police Chief Thomas Jackson released the name of the officer who shot Brown and documents showing that Brown had been suspected of stealing a $48.99 box of cigars from a convenience store.
Later in the day, Jackson said that Wilson, the officer who shot Brown, had not known he was suspected of theft.
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