US & Canada

Ferguson: State of emergency lifted as calm returns

Police wearing gas masks stand by a wall in Ferguson, Missouri Image copyright AP
Image caption The state of emergency was imposed in Ferguson when street protests against Brown's killing became violent

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has lifted the state of emergency declared to combat nights of violent protests in the city of Ferguson last month.

Mr Nixon had implemented the order on 19 August, following demonstrations against the killing of an unarmed black teenager by a white policeman.

Michael Brown, 18, was shot dead after being stopped for jaywalking.

Mr Nixon said people were "getting back to their normal routines" and the order was no longer needed.

"This progress is a testament to the efforts of community and faith leaders, working alongside state and local law enforcement officers, to bring peace to the streets of Ferguson and much-needed stability to its citizens," he said in a statement.

Mr Brown was killed on 9 August after white police officer Darren Wilson stopped him and a friend for walking in the middle of the street.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Protestors in Ferguson hold up their hands in the gesture of surrender they say Brown used before he was killed
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Ferguson's police force is predominately white, but its population more than 60% black

Eye-witnesses have said Mr Brown raised his hands in a gesture of surrender before he was shot multiple times by Mr Wilson.

Police accounts have disputed this, saying there was a struggle between Mr Brown and Mr Wilson which led to the shooting.

Many local residents saw the crime as an example of white police brutality.

Ferguson's police force is more than 90% white, while its population is more than 60% black.

Protestors say police officer Darren Wilson, who has been place on administrative leave, has not been adequately punished.

A St Louis County grand jury has begun hearing evidence about the killing and will decide whether or not to charge Mr Wilson with a crime.

The US Justice Department has opened its own investigation into the shooting.

On Saturday, the Ferguson police began using body cameras to record interactions with the public.