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US police arrest 50 protesters in Ferguson

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More than 50 protesters were arrested in the St. Louis area of the United States on Monday during demonstrations over the shooting death of a black teenager by a white police officer in August.

Thousands of people demonstrated as rain poured during the fourth straight day of protests which run from Friday until Monday. Among the arrested were the clergy, civil rights activists and scholars who have traveled to the area from across the US.

At least 50 protesters were arrested in civil disobedience acts in Ferguson, the predominantly black suburb of St. Louis where 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot dead by Darren Wilson.

Protesters were greeted by about 40 armed officers in militarized gear.

Clergy, civil rights groups, activists and community organizers from across the US have helped to lead the demonstrations, which they said is aimed at creating a national movement against police brutality and police mistreatment of African-Americans.

The four-day protests, dubbed “Ferguson October”, began on Friday afternoon. On Saturday, thousands of demonstrators from across the US gathered in St. Louis to march and chant.

The shooting death of 18-year-old Vonderrit Myers Jr. by an off-duty white policeman on Wednesday has fueled fire to the four-day rallies. The shooting took place just two months after Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson killed Brown, sparking weeks of violent protests.

Police brutality and the unnecessary use of heavy-handed tactics have become a major concern across the US in recent years.

US police shoot and kill an average of 1,000 people a year, one in every four of whom are unarmed, according to a report by the Police Policy Studies Council.

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