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State of emergency declared in Ferguson

10 August 2015 23:04



St. Louis County in the US state of Missouri has declared a state of emergency after Black Lives Matter protests turned violent in Ferguson.

On Sunday night, police clashed with protesters marking the first anniversary of the police killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager shot to death by a white police officer in Ferguson.

An African-American man was critically wounded in a gun battle with police on Sunday night. St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said the man was shot after opening fire on an unmarked police car shortly before midnight.

Police collect evidence the morning after violence erupted along West Florrisant Street during a demonstration to mark the first anniversary of the shooting of Michael Brown on August 10, 2015 in Ferguson, Missouri. (AFP photo)

In a statement issued on Monday afternoon, St. Louis County executive Steve Stenger said police would immediately take charge of “police emergency management” in Ferguson and surrounding districts.

“In light of last night’s violence and unrest in the city of Ferguson, and the potential for harm to persons and property, I am exercising my authority as county executive to issue a state of emergency, effective immediately,” he said.

“The recent acts of violence will not be tolerated in a community that has worked so tirelessly over the last year to rebuild and become stronger,” he added.

Eighteen-year-old Brown was shot multiple times and killed on August 9, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri, by white police officer Darren Wilson, sparking months of violent protests across the United States.

People attend a memorial service to mark the anniversary of Michael Brown’s death on August 9, 2015 in Ferguson, Missouri. (AFP photo)

In November 2014, a predominantly white grand jury — of nine white and three black judges — decided not to indict Wilson for killing Brown, causing months of more unrest across the country.

In Ferguson, minutes of silence were observed at the scene of Brown’s death on Sunday.

Demonstrations and commemoration ceremonies to mark the anniversary began on Friday as people demonstrated at the scene of Brown’s shooting and outside the Ferguson police headquarters.

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