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Death of a black teenager sparks riots in Missouri

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Zach McAuliffe
Zach McAuliffe is a University of Dayton alumni with degrees in journalism and English. He wants to present people with all the facts they need to make informed decisions on the world around them. He also enjoys Shakespeare and long walks on the beach with his puppy Lily.

The shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown by police over the weekend prompted riots in Ferguson, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis, on Sunday.

Brown was shot by police Saturday after what many sources are saying was a struggle between an unnamed officer and Brown.

St. Louis police chief, Jon Belmar, spoke at a news conference Sunday, saying Brown, another unnamed civilian, and the officer in question had met on the street outside of an apartment complex in Ferguson.  Brown then reportedly had pushed the officer back into his patrol car, according to a CBS News report from Sunday.

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The officer and Brown fought inside the patrol car, and according to the New York Times, the office’s firearm came into play around this time as the two began to fight for possession of it.  Chief Belmar continued, saying at least one shot was fired inside the patrol car before the fight spilled into the street where more shots were fired, resulting in Brown’s death.

The number of shots fired has not yet been released by the police, but this same report says all shots were fired from the officer’s gun and “it was more than just a couple” shots, according to Chief Belmar.

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said Brown was unnarmed throughout the entire confrontation.

The second civilian who accompanied Brown has not been charged or arrested as of right now.

After the shooting Saturday, people from the surrounding area confronted police who had arrived on the scene, shouting “kill the police,” according to the AP.

On Sunday, mourners came to the site where Brown was killed and held vigils for the slain and protested what they viewed as an unjust use of force.  As the protests went on, officers showed up in riot gear in anticipation of potential violence, and people became angered at this and began to riot.

Thirty-two people were arrested over night, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, all charged with either assault, theft, burglary, or a combination of the three.

Cleanup of the incident has started this morning, but some don’t believe the rioting is over just yet.

According to the BBC, Deandre Smith, 30, of Ferguson, has said, “I don’t think it’s over honestly… I just think they got a taste of what fighting back means.”

The St. Louis Police have given all investigative information of the shooting over to the FBI, who are now in charge of determining what happened Saturday night.

The officer involved is now on paid administrative leave.

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