Ferguson (Montana), Aug. 12 (Reuters): More than 100 people marched at the St Louis County courthouse today to protest the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager but the demonstration remained peaceful after two previous days of violence.
Protesters called for justice in the death of Michael Brown, 18, who was shot to death in the back of a police car on Saturday, an end to what they say is harassment of blacks by the mostly white police force in Ferguson and the jailing of the officer who shot Brown.
Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said police were determined to keep a lid on simmering tensions. Authorities had been expected to release the name of the officer involved in the shooting but the St Louis Post-Dispatch, citing police, said today the name would not be released. The race of the officer, a six-year veteran who is now on administrative leave, also has not been revealed.
The FBI has opened a civil rights investigation into the racially charged case and St Louis County also is investigating the shooting.
The crowd in front of the St Louis county courthouse in nearby Clayton today chanted “hands up, don’t shoot” — a reference to reports that Brown appeared to have been shot while holding his hands up in surrender.
“We’ve consistently had a problem,” said St Louis attorney Jerryl Christmas, who helped lead the protest.
Police said Brown was shot in a struggle with a gun in the police car but have not said why Brown was in the car. At least one shot was fired during the struggle.