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Community outraged, stories differ after police kill college-bound teen Michael Brown

FERGUSON, Missouri – A Missouri community is angry and distraught after a Ferguson police officer killed a college-bound teen, Michael Brown, who a friend and witnesses said was unarmed and had his hands in the air.

That  account differs greatly from the one offered by police.

Prior to being fatally shot, Brown “pushed a police officer back into the car, where he physically assaulted the police officer” and struggled over the officer’s weapon, said St. Louis County Police Department Chief Jon Belmar.

“My son just turned 18 and graduated high school and he didn’t bother nobody,” Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, told CNN affiliate KSDK.

McSpadden was told her son was shot eight times, though witnesses had varying accounts of how many shots were fired. Brown was supposed to start classes at Vatterott College on Monday, she said

Antonio French, the Ward 21 alderman in nearby St. Louis, tweeted numerous photos and videos from the aftermath of the Saturday shooting. Brown was shot shortly after 2 p.m., according to reports.

Hundreds of demonstrators — as many as 1,000 at the height of the protests, according to police — converged on the scene Saturday, at one point driving away a police squad car, French said on Twitter.

Scores of police officers lined the street. One of them held the leash of a barking dog, and French said some officers wielded shotguns. One image showed a riot van on the scene.

Demonstrators held their hands in the air and chanted, “We are Michael Brown.” Others held signs, including one that said, “No justice, no peace” and another that read, “Police stops should not = dead kids.” There were reports that some protesters yelled, “Kill the police.”

Demonstrators at one point set a Dumpster on fire, according to CNN affiliate KMOV, and Police Chief Thomas Jackson told KSDK, “It did get a little tense when, twice, several shots were fired.”

The Ferguson Police Department called more than 100 officers from 15 jurisdictions to secure the scene, KMOV reported.

“We had what probably bordered on riot conditions,” Jackson said, explaining that it took hours to process the scene, collect evidence and move Brown’s body.

Later, according to media reports, about 100 people took their protest to the Police Department in Ferguson, a northern suburb that’s about a 20-minute drive from St. Louis. Officers were deployed to ensure the demonstrations were peaceful, the police chief said.

McSpadden had pointed words for the officer who shot her son.

“You’re not God. You don’t decide when you’re going to take somebody from here,” she told KSDK.

Jackson said the St. Louis County Police Department was conducting an independent investigation. The officer who shot Brown is on paid administrative leave during the investigation and will be available to talk to county homicide detectives.

The St. Louis County Police Department plans to release more information on the shooting Sunday.

The St. Louis County NAACP is asking the FBI to open a probe and said it would conduct its own investigation into the killing.

“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,” local chapter President Esther Haywood said in a statement.

Brown was spending the summer in the neighborhood with his grandmother, Desuirea Harris, she told KMOV. She described him as “a good kid.”

He was walking with at least one other man at the time of the incident, Jackson said.

Witnesses told CNN affiliate KTVI that a police officer in a squad car grabbed Brown while he was walking.

Dorian Johnson said he was walking with Brown in the middle of the street when a police car pulled up. The officer told the teens to use the sidewalk, according to Johnson.

After an exchange of words, the officer shot Brown even after he raised his hands in the air, Johnson said.

The officer “shot again, and once my friend felt that shot, he turned around and put his hands in the air,” Johnson told KMOV. “He started to get down and the officer still approached with his weapon drawn and fired several more shots.”

The police chief declined to divulge specifics about the case, including what preceded the shooting.

Brown enjoyed music and had recently graduated from Normandy High School in Wellston, his uncle Bernard Ewing said.

15 comments

  • Robbie

    Jesse and Al are foaming at the mouth to get there with their 60’s mentality and their “100 reasons why it’s whiteys fault” handbook. A copy can be yours for 3 easy payments of $19.95.

  • Kenny Powers

    The first shot was fired from inside the cop car, tells me the punk was attacking the cop. What’s he supposed to do? Be a punching bag for this “good keed”? I have had my run ins with the cops, but I am smart enough to just run my mouth to them. I know that if I put my hands on one, then I will most likely end up in the hospital or even dead. One you cross that line, all bets are off.

    • BO

      Everybody knows it so I never get where these protests come from.If you put your hands on someone its assault and a cop is the last one you should do it too.

  • They walk among us

    I have never needed to be arrested. If I did, I would think a simple “yes sir”,or ” no sir” , and not resisting arrest would work in my favor. I never understood how anyone could think otherwise. Try to avoid situations that will involve any police response in the first place. It has worked for me for 50 years.

  • Bill T

    Funny isn’t it that the only life valuable enough to protest about the loss of is the ones lost at the hands of the police. As few as they are and as overly investigated, a police shooting by a minority, even if the police is a minority will cause all kinds of angst among the race baiting POS’s like what is protesting here. Had this been the normal and every day misdemeanor murder of a young black man by a young black man no one anywhere other than the minimal viewership of this news station would ever know about it much less care. What is it with the black community that only values the life of a young black killed by a cop when they could care less about the hundreds of lives lost at the hands of fellow blacks?

    • kim

      Bill, dont talk about whats going on in the black community if you have no clue.The black community is outraged over black on black crime. However you are not in the black community so you wouldnt know that. They dont put that on the news. This life is no valuable than anyone else. Cases like this only get more attention because there is some kind of injustice by the judicial system. All you see is what the media puts out there for you to see and that is popular political civil rights activist like Al and Jesse who only speak out on injustices when it comes to the law. They only speak out on things when the results are unfair lawfully. Misdemeanor murder? I dont think so. When a black person kills someone (black or white), you can rest assure that it will be a felony unless it was blatant self defense. The reason why a black man killing a black man doesnt get as much press as this is because the black on black crime is an open shut murder case in which the murderer will be properly charged and sentenced. Get it naive white guy?

      For the record, I am not taking any sides in this case because I dont know enough details of it to form an opinion on whether an injustice took place. What I do know is there was a possible injustice in this case which is why people like Al Sharpton get involved. There is a history of the justice system treating black people unfairly in this country which is why you have civil rights people like Jesse Jackson.

      • athynz

        People like the “reverends” Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton are NOT involved because of any sort of civil rights issues but because it gives them exposure and money. They are not around for black on black crimes, they are not around when a black person kills a white person, they only show up when a white person kills a black person. It’s their bread and butter. The thing is that it’s still a loss of life no matter what color the killer or the victim is.

      • Joel

        Your response was dumb. She didn’t say they came around for black on black or black on white. She said they come when there is injustice done to black people as it pertains to the law. The reason why they fight for civil rights (money and exposure in your opinion) is presonal opinion. Only they can answer that. Stop trying go deflect the truth because you don’t like it. Yes a life lost is a life lost, nothing to do with this story.

  • manalishi

    They should have apologized for shooting the teen,,,then shoot ALL of the looters. At least let the store owners shoot them without fear of liability or prosecution.

  • Keith

    I think they meant to say “Project” instead of “apartment complex”. Hundreds show up? What’s that tell you? Projects that’s what. MF’s on welfare and NOT at work. And where’s the REAL Daddy? Normally when ya have a Daddy, you don’t live in a project.

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