US & Canada

Michael Brown shooting: Calm returns after rioting

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Media captionShops were looted and cars vandalised as police blocked off access to many parts of the city

Police in the US state of Missouri say they have arrested 32 people as calm returned after a night of rioting.

Unrest broke out on Sunday over the killing of an unarmed black teenager by a police officer in Ferguson.

People looted shops, vandalised cars and stores, and set a building alight as police tried to block off access to several areas of the city.

Police say Michael Brown, 18, was shot on Saturday afternoon in the mainly black suburb of St Louis.

He was shot several times after a struggle in a police car, they said.

On Monday, dozens of residents marched through the streets demanding justice.

As residents began the task of cleaning up, some said they believed the violence was not over.

'Fighting back'

DeAndre Smith, 30, of Ferguson told the St Louis Post-Dispatch that the rioting reflected a sense of injustice in the community.

"I don't think it's over honestly," he said. "I just think they got a taste of what fighting back means."

St Louis County police say the FBI has now taken over the investigation into Mr Brown's death.

The rioting erupted late on Sunday after thousands of people attended a candlelight vigil for the slain man.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Shops and other businesses in Ferguson were looted and vandalised late on Sunday
Image copyright AP
Image caption Mourners paid their respects at the spot where Michael Brown was killed on Sunday
Image copyright AP
Image caption Ferguson police officers try to calm down a crowd near the scene of the shooting on Saturday

County Police Chief Jon Belmar said the shooting occurred after the officer encountered two men, including Mr Brown, on a street in Ferguson.

Mr Belmar said one of the men pushed the officer back into his squad car and a struggle began.


At least one shot was fired from the officer's gun inside the police car, Mr Belmar said.

But authorities say they are still trying to clarify exactly what happened inside the vehicle.

The officer involved has been with the Ferguson police department for six years, and has been placed on paid administrative leave, Mr Belmar said.

Mayor James Knowles said he understood that people "want to vent their frustrations. We understand they want to speak out", but he added: "We're going to obviously try to urge calm."

Mr Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, said her son had graduated from high school and planned to go to a local college.

The killing has drawn comparisons by some civil rights leaders with the 2012 killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by a Florida neighbourhood watch organiser who was acquitted of murder charges.

"We're outraged because yet again a young African-American man has been killed by law enforcement," said John Gaskin, of the civil rights group NAACP.

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