US police tear gas protesters after officers kill protestor

AFP , Thursday 20 Aug 2015

Missouri protests
Firefighters attempt to put out a fire at an abandoned building with the protection of St. Louis City Police in St. Louis, Missouri August 19, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)

Protests broke out and police responded with teargas after an 18-year-old black man was shot dead in a confrontation with white officers in St. Louis, Missouri, officials said Wednesday.

The city is close to the trouble spot of Ferguson, where a police killing of an unarmed black man last year prompted angry protests and a renewed discussion on race and policing in the United States.

A string of such incidents has led to wide-spread outcry as well as police and racial equality initiatives going all the way up to the White House.

After the shooting Wednesday, in which police say the 18-year-old pointed a gun at police, protesters gathered near the shooting location.

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said they threw bottles and bricks at police and refused to move from an intersection.

After other attempts to clear the area failed, Dotson said teargas was used to reopen the intersection.

"Peace was restored after a total of nine arrests," he said.

Police released edited video of the protest early Thursday morning seemingly depicting demonstrators throwing rocks and water bottles at a phalanx of police who hid behind riot shields.

Later at night, police received reports of burglaries and a car being set on fire in the area.

"A group of protesters came together and started to do acts of violence directed not only towards law enforcement but towards the neighborhood," Dotson said in recorded remarks released by the police department.

He reported that police discovered three stolen guns during investigations following the shooting that sparked the protests.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported the 18-year-old was killed after two officers who were serving a search warrant opened fire when he pointed a gun at them.

The two officers who opened fire were white, and the man killed was black.

Sometimes violent protests began again in Ferguson this month after peaceful demonstrations marking the first anniversary of the shooting that killed another 18-year-old, Michael Brown, escalated into violence and looting.

The officer who killed Brown was cleared of any wrongdoing.

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