US & Canada

Missouri: Police confront new protests over Michael Brown

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Media captionFerguson has seen another night of tension, reports Tom Esslemont

Riot police have confronted dozens of protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, as tensions again rose over the shooting of a black teenager by police there.

Several stores were looted and bottles thrown in the area of a convenience store, shown in CCTV footage released by police to demonstrate that Michael Brown, 18, was a robbery suspect.

The footage appears to show Mr Brown stealing and intimidating the owner.

The unrest came despite an appeal for calm by Mr Brown's family.

It said their son was not "perfect" but criticised what they see as a police attempt to "justify the execution-style murder".

"Stay with us, we don't want to see any violence on the streets. Please continue to peacefully protest," said Michael Brown's cousin, Eric Davis.

Police later said that the officer who shot Mr Brown did not know he was a robbery suspect.

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Media captionMr Brown's family has ''condemned'' the use of the CCTV footage

Protests turn violent

The killing sparked days of angry clashes between police and protesters, but demonstrations on Friday had been mostly peaceful.

A few hundred people demonstrated quietly at a filling station. which was looted and burnt last weekend.

But after midnight on Saturday local time (0500 GMT) more than 100 protesters gathered on the street near the convenience store.

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Image caption Protesters' anger remained high as the name of the officer who shot Michael Brown was released on Friday
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Image caption This statement has become a rallying cry for the protesters
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Image caption Mr Brown's family appealed for calm and encouraged the crowds to continue protesting peacefully
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Image caption On Friday night riot police using tear gas clashed with some protesters throwing stones

Reports say that some protesters broke into the store while others tried to block their way, apparently to prevent looting.

Riot police arrived on the scene calling for the crowd to disperse.

They were met with stones and bottles, and responded with tear gas and pepper spray.

Civil rights leader Al Sharpton says a peaceful rally, led by Michael Brown's family is planned for Sunday.

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Media captionEric Davis, Michael Brown's cousin: "We do not want violence in the street"

"The family have never said that Mike Brown was perfect," said a lawyer representing them.

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said the officer who shot Mr Brown did not know that he had allegedly stolen goods from a nearby store.

"The initial contact between the officer and Michael Brown was not related to the robbery," he said.

Instead, he added, the reason for the stop was that Mr Brown "was walking down the middle of the street stopping traffic".

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Image caption Michael Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, during a community meeting on Tuesday
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Image caption Protests on Thursday night were peaceful after four nights of violence

Mr Jackson said he had released the footage of the crime only because he had been forced to do so because of numerous freedom of information requests from journalists.

He described the robbery at the convenience store as being committed without the use of a weapon.

CCTV pictures in a police report show a well-built black man intimidating a clerk in the store.

The police report identifies the man as Mr Brown, described as being 6ft 4in (193cm) and 292 pounds (132kg).

It says he "grabbed a box of Swisher Sweet cigars" and handed them to a second suspect identified as Mr Brown's friend, Dorian Johnson.

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Media captionThe BBC's Aleem Maqbool describes the "extraordinary scenes" in Missouri after state police took charge of security

Since the shooting on Saturday, Mr Johnson has given a number of interviews in which he has said Mr Brown held up his hands in an act of surrender before being shot by the officer.

Also on Friday Mr Jackson revealed the name of the officer who shot and killed Mr Brown - Darren Wilson - and said he was injured in a struggle with Mr Brown.

Mr Wilson, is a six-year veteran of the police force with no disciplinary record, Mr Jackson said.

Members of the majority black Ferguson community have reacted angrily to the revelations.

Ferguson resident Milton Jackson, 37, said: "I don't believe what the officer did was called for. Even if there was a robbery, it was unnecessary force to shoot an unarmed black man."

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Image caption Michael Brown had recently graduated from high school

US Attorney General Eric Holder said the use of military equipment and vehicles in Ferguson had sent a "conflicting message", while President Barack Obama said there was no excuse for police using "excessive force".

Mr Obama has promised a full investigation by the US Department of Justice into the teenager's death, and the FBI has launched its own inquiry.