TIME Crime

Public Outcry After Police Shooting of Black St. Louis Teenager

APTOPIX Police Shooting Missouri
Lesley McSpadden, left, is comforted by her husband, Louis Head, after her 18-year-old son, Michael Brown was shot and killed by police in the middle of the street in Ferguson, Mo., near St. Louis on Aug. 9, 2014. Huy Mach—AP

Michael Brown's killing sparked protests against local police

Updated 1:30 p.m. E.T.

The fatal shooting of an unarmed black St. Louis teen Saturday has caused an outcry of anger toward the city’s police, with locals rallying in the streets and widening uproar on social media.

Eighteen-year-old Michael Brown was being placed in a police squad car, eyewitness Piaget Crenshaw told the St. Louis Dispatch, when he put his hands in the air and attempted to flee. Several shots hit him as he ran away.

St. Louis County police chief Jon Belmar said Sunday that Brown struggled for the officer’s gun in the patrol car and that one shot was fired from the officer’s gun during the tussle. The officer fired multiple shots at Brown as he fled, Belmar said.

Anger flared the rest of the day after Brown’s death, as protesters screamed obscenities mixed with threats to “kill the police,” and more than 60 area police officers responded to the scene. More shots were reported, though no one was injured.

Brown’s stepfather, Louis Head, held a sign during protests that said, “Ferguson police just executed my unarmed son!!!” Later in the evening, about 100 protesters gathered outside Ferguson police headquarters and chanted, “No justice! No peace!”

Ferguson police said they turned over the matter to county police, and chief of police Thomas Jackson said he was “hoping for calm and for people to give us a chance to conduct a thorough investigation.”

Brown’s mother Lesley McSpadden said the shooting occurred as her son was walking to his grandmother’s home. McSpadden said Brown “doesn’t kill, steal or rob. He doesn’t do any of that.”

Brown was a 2014 Normandy High School graduate who was scheduled to begin classes at Vatterott College on Monday.

John Gaskin, a member of the St. Louis NAACP, said the FBI should get involved “to protect the integrity of the investigation.”

“With the recent events of a young man killed by the police in New York City and with Trayvon Martin and with all the other African-American young men that have been killed by police officers … this is a dire concern to the NAACP, especially our local organization,” Gaskin said.

The teenager’s name began trending on Twitter and Facebook as news of his killing spread. Protesters have planned a rally outside the Ferguson police station Monday morning.

[St. Louis Dispatch]

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