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Missouri police have clashed with protesters in St Louis after an officer shot dead a black teenager close to where another black youth, Michael Brown, was killed in August sparking national protests.
A crowd of about 100 gathered at the scene in St Louis early on December 24 after scuffles the night before.
Police said the man who was shot, Antonio Martin, 18, had pointed a gun at the police officer.
For weeks there have been widespread protests over alleged police brutality.
Berkeley is about 2 miles from the St Louis suburb of Ferguson, where 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot dead by a white officer.
St Louis County police chief Jon Belmar said a police officer was responding to a call about a theft when he saw Antonio Martin and another man at a petrol station in North Hanley Road and approached them.
He said that Antonio Martin pointed a handgun at the officer, and the officer responded by firing three shots. One of the shots hit Antonio Martin, he said.
The officer “responded with what he thought was commensurate force at the time”, Col. Jon Belmar said, adding that “most of us would feel in imminent danger of losing our lives at that point”.
Col. Jon Belmar described the incident as “a tragedy for everybody”, and said a prosecutor had been assigned to investigate the case.
“Our hearts certainly go out to the family, but bad choices were made,” he added.
“This individual [Antonio Martin] could have complied with the officer; he could have run away; he could have dropped the gun. Things did not have to end with him approaching an officer with a 9mm pistol in his hand.”
Berkeley Mayor Theodore Hoskins said that both the city and St Louis County would hold independent investigations.
The incident could not be compared with the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Theodore Hoskins said, adding: “The video shows that the deceased pointed a gun… at the officer.”
Between 200 and 300 people gathered at the scene after the incident, Col. Jon Belmar said, adding that bricks were thrown at police officers, and three explosive devices set off.
Four people had been arrested for assaulting police officers, he said.
Police are releasing video footage of the run-up to the shooting, and an image of the second man, who fled the scene.
The handgun said to belong to Antonio Martin has been recovered by police.
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Another black teenager has been shot dead by an off-duty police officer in St Louis, Missouri, leading to angry demonstrations on the streets.
The white officer was on patrol for a private security company when he exchanged fire with an 18-year-old after a chase, say police.
The officer fired 17 shots at the teenager, police added.
Two months ago a fatal shooting in the nearby suburb of Ferguson sparked weeks of unrest and international headlines.
Michael Brown, 18, was unarmed when he was killed by a white officer, who could face criminal charges.
Angry crowds on Shaw streets after an off-duty police officer fatally shot a black teenager (photo AP)
The latest incident began when the officer, dressed in his city police uniform, spotted three men running away from him in Shaw neighborhood, says St Louis Police Chief Colonel Sam Dotson.
The 32-year-old officer thought one of the men was carrying a weapon so chased him and a confrontation followed.
During the altercation, the man fired at the officer, who returned fire and killed him, said Sam Dotson.
Ballistic evidence suggests the man fired three rounds at the officer before his weapon jammed, and a gun was recovered from the scene, he added.
The officer, who was not injured, fired 17 shots, said Sam Dotson.
“An investigation will decide if the officer’s behavior was appropriate,” he said at a news conference in the early hours of Thursday, October 9.
Neither man has been named.
Hours after the shooting, a crowd gathered at the scene, with some shouting “hands up, don’t shoot”, in reference to the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by a white policeman on August 9.
Some police cars were damaged but there were no arrests.
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Hundreds of mourners gathered in Ferguson, Missouri to attend the funeral of Michael Brown, the black teenager who was shot by police.
Michael Brown, 18, who was unarmed, was killed on August 9 after being stopped by a white police officer for walking in the middle of the street.
His death sparked days of protests and violent clashes, but tensions appear to have eased in recent days.
Michael Brown’s father has called for calm ahead of his son’s funeral.
“Tomorrow all I want is peace,” Michael Brown Senior told hundreds of people at a rally in St Louis on Sunday.
On Monday, long lines of mourners entered the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Ferguson where the funeral service will be held at 10.00 local time.
The mood has been peaceful and sombre, but there is still anger in Ferguson, which has a majority black population, after the shooting by white police officer, Darren Wilson.
Michael Brown was killed on August 9 after being stopped by a white police officer for walking in the middle of the street
The National Guard, which was deployed to deal with violent clashes in Ferguson last week, started to withdraw from the area on Saturday as tensions showed signs of easing.
Michael Brown’s father made his plea for calm on Sunday to a crowd gathered at the Peace Fest 2014 festival, a rally against police violence in St Louis.
Rev. Al Sharpton also addressed the crowd, telling them the day of the funeral was not for “rage” but “about the legacy and memory of his [Michael Brown Sr.’s] son”.
“We don’t want anything tomorrow to happen that might defile the name of Michael Brown,” the reverend added.
Michael Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden took the microphone to thank the crowd.
She said she had seen her son’s body at the morgue for the first time on Sunday since the day of the shooting.
The family of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old who was shot and killed by a Florida neighborhood watch organizer who was later acquitted of murder charges, was present at the rally.
“We’re going to stand tall with you all,” Trayvon Martin’s father, Tracy Martin, said.
Three White House officials and Governor Jay Nixon are due to attend the funeral on Monday.
Ferguson was relatively calm on Sunday, with the main street open to traffic and fewer police officers around compared to previous days, Reuters reports.
The officer who killed Michael Brown, Darren Wilson, has been suspended with pay. Michael Brown’s family and supporters have called for him to be prosecuted.
A grand jury panel of residents has begun hearing evidence in the case, though officials have not said when it will reach a decision.
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The National Guard has been sent to the town of Ferguson as protests escalate over the police shooting of black teenager Michael Brown.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed an order to “help restore peace and order and to protect the citizens of Ferguson”.
The decision was made as police clashed with angry crowds shortly before a second night under curfew began.
Police in Ferguson, a suburb of St Louis, said they came under attack and had “no alternative” but to respond.
Captain Ron Johnson said protesters had thrown Molotov cocktails and bottles at security forces, and set up barricades before the five-hour curfew began at midnight on Sunday.
“For those who would claim that the curfew was what led to [the] violence, I will remind you this incident began three and a half hours before the curfew was to have started,” Ron Johnson told journalists in Ferguson on Monday.
Correspondents at the scene described seeing smoke clouds rise up as police began to disperse the protests on West Florissant Avenue, with a helicopter beaming down a spotlight.
Some of the demonstrators were spluttering and poured bottles of water into their eyes as they felt the effects of tear gas. Others sought cover from the unrest inside a fast food restaurant.
The killing of Michael Brown by a white policeman in a street on August 9 has inflamed racial tensions in the largely black suburb.
The National Guard has been sent to the town of Ferguson as protests escalate over the police shooting of black teenager Michael Brown (photo AP)
Officer Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown after reportedly stopping him for walking in the street, disrupting traffic.
Governor Jay Nixon has criticized police for releasing surveillance video which apparently shows Michael Brown stealing some hours before his death.
Jay Nixon said the release of the footage “appeared to cast aspersions” on the dead man, saying “it made emotions raw”.
He also condemned the protesters: “These violent acts are a disservice to the family of Michael Brown and his memory and to the people of this community who yearn for justice to be served and to feel safe in their own homes.”
A preliminary post-mortem examination by the St Louis County Medical Examiner’s office on the day after Michael Brown’s death found he had been shot, police said, without disclosing how many times.
However, a preliminary private post-mortem report has since revealed that he was shot at least six times, including twice in the head, the New York Times reports.
The bullets did not appear to have been fired from very close range due to the lack of gunpowder on the victim’s body, forensic pathologist Michael Baden was quoted by the paper as saying.
Michael Baden flew to Missouri on Sunday to conduct a separate autopsy at the request of the family.
Officials last week confirmed that Darren Wilson was a six-year police veteran with no previous complaints against him. He has been on paid administrative leave since the shooting.
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Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency in Ferguson, the St Louis suburb where black teenager Michael Brown was shot dead by police last week.
Jay Nixon also said a curfew would run from midnight local time until 05:00 AM in Ferguson.
The move comes after a week of violent clashes between heavily armed local police and protesters.
Michael Brown, 18, was shot dead on a street in Ferguson on August 9.
Governor Jay Nixon said that although many protesters were making themselves heard peacefully, he would not allow a handful of looters to endanger the community.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency in Ferguson, the St Louis suburb where black teenager Michael Brown was shot dead by police
“We must first have and maintain peace. This is a test. The eyes of the world are watching,” he said.
“We cannot allow the ill will of the few to undermine the good will of the many.”
Jay Nixon also said the Department of Justice was bolstering its investigation of the shooting.
Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, who is in charge of security in Ferguson, said 40 FBI agents were going door-to-door to gather information about the incident.
Ron Johnson gave a joint press conference with Governor Nixon at a church in Ferguson, where they were repeatedly interrupted by angry locals.
On Friday, police released CCTV footage that it said showed Michael Brown stealing from a convenience store and intimidating its owner.
Michael Brown’s family said they were “beyond outraged” by the video, criticizing what they said was a police attempt to “justify the execution-style murder”.
Police later said that the officer who shot Michael Brown did not know he was a robbery suspect.
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