The death of an 18-year-old African-American teen who was shot by a police officer in St. Louis on Saturday is causing unrest in the Missouri city as citizens are calling for answers. Police are saying that teenager Mike Brown was shot after a struggle with the police officer for his gun, an assertion that many are calling into question, including the African-American community that gathered at the scene of the shooting in Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb, to light candles for Brown.
Brown had reportedly been walking to his grandmother’s house when he and another man were approached by a police officer riding in a patrol car. When the officer was about the leave the car, he was pushed by one of the men back into it and assaulted, according to the account of the police department. They then struggled for the officer’s gun, with one shot being fired in the car, and when the two men tried to leave the scene, the officer shot Brown about 35 feet away from the vehicle. Witnesses say that Brown was unarmed and that he had his hands in the air when he was shot dead.
Brown’s grandmother, Desiree Harris, said that she had been driving back home when she saw him a few blocks away from her house and running toward it. However, moments after she arrived home, a commotion outside led her to find her grandson’s dead body sprawled on the street. “He was running this way. When I got up there, my grandson was lying on the pavement. I asked the police what happened. They didn't tell me nothing,” she said.
— Trist Morris (@bigstraps) August 10, 2014
After the shooting, angry residents of the suburb gathered at the scene to confront local authorities while they stood guard over Brown’s body and attempted to control the crowds. Meanwhile, protesters also stormed the Ferguson police headquarters to protest the shooting on Saturday and Sunday, chanting “No justice! No Peace!”
— Betsey Bruce (@betseybruce) August 11, 2014
— St. Louis American (@StLouisAmerican) August 10, 2014
Brown was a 2014 graduate of Normandy High School and planning to attend Vatterott College on August 11, Monday. The police have not revealed the name or rank of the officer involved in the shooting, except for revealing that he had been on the force for six years.
“We plan to do everything within our power to ensure that the Ferguson Police Department as well as the St. Louis County Police Department releases all details pertinent to the shooting,” said Esther Haywood, president of the NAACP in St. Louis County.
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