US Ferguson state of emergency extended

AFP , Wednesday 12 Aug 2015

A state of emergency in the racial flashpoint US city of Ferguson was extended Wednesday despite a night of calm, officials said.

St. Louis County first declared a state of emergency on Monday -- though it stopped short of imposing a curfew -- after a day of peaceful protests marking the first anniversary of the police shooting of unarmed black teen Michael Brown devolved into violence and looting on Sunday.

Tyrone Harris, 18, was shot by police Sunday after allegedlyopening fire in the chaos in this suburb of St. Louis, Missouri.

Following Harris's shooting, unrest erupted again Monday night as angry demonstrators beat drums, chanted and threw stones and bottles at police, who responded with pepper spray and arrests.

While Tuesday evening was calm with no arrests reported, officials said the state of emergency would be extended until at least Thursday as a preventative measure.

"After reviewing the events of the past two evenings, under the state of emergency, I am pleased to report our law enforcement officers have established order while preventing further acts of violence," county executive Steve Stenger said in a statement.

"It is because of their ability to maintain order that I find it prudent to continue the state of emergency for at least the next 24 hours."

Some 87 protesters have been arrested, including 64 who shut down a freeway in an act of peaceful civil disobedience, officials said.

Brown's death on August 9, 2014, led to weeks of sometimes violent unrest in Ferguson last year and sparked nationwide protests.

Outrage at the deaths of Brown and a series of others killed by police in disputed circumstances have fueled the Black Lives Matter movement and a national conversation about racism and police tactics.

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