What is your take on the unrest in North St. Louis County?
FERGUSON, Mo. (KMOV.com) – Tensions are high in Ferguson, Missouri and a large police presence is on hand after a teenager was shot to death by a police officer.
The St. Louis County Police Department held a press conference Sunday morning where they stated Brown was shot “more than just a couple of times” by a 6-year member of the Ferguson Police department.
The incident happened in a roadway Saturday afternoon near the Canfield Green Apartments in the 2900 block of Canfield.
Witnesses tell News 4 that Mike Brown, 18, was unarmed and had his hands in the air when he was shot multiple times by a Ferguson police officer.
Dorian Johnson tells News 4 he was walking with Brown when the officer confronted them and drew his weapon.
“He (the officer) shot again and once my friend felt that shot, he turned around and put his hands in the air,” said Dorian Johnson, a friend Brown’s. “He started to get down and the officer still approached with his weapon drawn and fired several more shots.”
St. Louis County NAACP President Esther Haywood told News 4 that Brown was shot once by the officer and then an additional nine times as he lie in the street. Police have not confirmed that account.
“He was a good kid. He didn’t live around here,” said Desuirea Harris, grandmother of the victim. “He came to visit me and they did that to him for no reason.”
Ferguson Police called for assistance from St. Louis County and nearby municipalities as large, emotional crowds gathered at the scene. In all more than 100 officers from 15 departments responded to the area. Tactical teams in riot gear were also called in. At one point, a dumpster was set on fire in protest of the shooting. A section of West Florissant Avenue near the scene was closed for a time on Saturday evening.
Through Saturday afternoon and evening some among the crowds were yelling profanities at police demanding justice. At one point gun shots rang out in the area as investigators gathered evidence. That prompted numerous police canine units to move in and move the crowds back.
The St. Louis County NAACP says they have launched their own an investigation and plan to “get to the bottom of what has occurred and will work to ensure that justice is served for all victims involved.”
Haywood also released a statement saying: “We are hurt to hear that yet another teenaged boy has been slaughtered by law enforcement especially in light of the recent death of Eric Garner in New York who was killed for selling cigarettes. We plan to do everything within our power to ensure that the Ferguson Police Department as well as the St. Louis County Police Department releases all details pertinent to the shooting. We strongly encourage residents to stay away from the crime scene so that no additional citizens are injured. I have spoken directly with St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar, and I am confident that both he and his department will ensure that the investigation is conducted properly and that all details are kept transparent.”
Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson says St. Louis County Police have taken over the investigation and the officer involved in the shooting has been put on paid administrative leave.