FERGUSON, Mo. — After a day of mostly peaceful protests over the death of an unarmed black teenager on Saturday, young protesters and police clashed in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, as the sun set on this St. Louis suburb that is increasingly becoming the focus of national attention.
The second night of unrest followed the Saturday afternoon shooting death of 18-year-old Mike Brown by a cop who, residents and neighbors say, fired between seven and 10 bullets into his body, killing him and setting off a chain reaction that has the potential to become a case of national interest rivaling the death of Trayvon Martin.
By 8 p.m. Monday, police had blocked off a larger portion of West Florissant Avenue, the scene of looting Sunday night and protests all day Monday. With many residents approaching from the north, police began firing tear gas canisters to disperse the crowd and prevent vehicles from advancing. As acrid and stinging smoke filled the air, some expressed the rage and indignation that has been brewing since Brown’s death. “What you gonna do, kill us all? This ain’t the South,” one man screamed at police. “All you motherfuckers, this ain’t the South.”
PHOTOS: Outrage in Ferguson
SWAT teams moved in and tear gas canisters were heard from the perimeter of what had essentially become a militarized zone. Hundreds of police swarmed the area while young African-American men taunted them and refused to go home. Others walked with their hands in the air, mimicking the gestures of someone showing they were unarmed. There were unconfirmed reports of police firing rubber bullets into the crowds.
In one video posted online by Antonio French, an alderman for the 21st Ward in St. Louis who was taking part in the protests, it appears a heavily armored policeman points a rifle briefly at the alderman and angrily waves him off.
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