Following the Saturday afternoon police shooting and death of Michael Brown, 18, in Ferguson, Missouri, protesters gathered and began looting and damaging cars into the night, according to an ABC report on Monday. The protests continued for more than a day after the incident. Of the businesses looted, people were carrying hubcaps out of an auto supply business. A damaged Quik Trip convenience store was hit hard with looting as persons overran the business, taking merchandise and running out of the store. Besides the vandalism of stores, police cars were damaged by protesters in the St. Louis, Missouri suburban town.
Officers came in with police dogs after the protesting got out of control. Police were seen in riot gear on the streets, trying to restore order. Prior to the looting with heavy damage in the area, there was a candlelight vigil for Michael Brown. Of extreme controversy, Brown was unarmed when he was shot on Saturday. During the candlelight vigil which was held at the exact location where Brown died, citizens put candles, flowers, and a teddy bear. On the street, persons spray painted the phrase “R.I.P. Michael.”
Witnesses claim that Brown had his hands up when he was shot dead by a policeman. However, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar says that an officer encountered two persons – one was Brown – in the street in Ferguson, near an apartment building. The police chief said that some sort of struggle started inside the police officer’s squad car, and eventually that struggle ended up on the street. That’s when an officer shot Brown several times. While at a press conference, officials with the police department said that they could not say exactly how many times Brown had been shot.
A New York Times report says that the incident between Brown and the officer involved a struggle for the officer’s gun. The police officer involved is now on leave. The St. Louis County Police are beginning an investigation of the murder. There are also calls for an FBI investigation.
According to a St. Louis alderman, Antonio French, citizens want a full investigation into the unarmed teenager’s death. French told ABC News that he thinks there are too many men – especially young, black men – who feel like they don’t have equal citizenship and that the relationship between them and the police is adversarial, with them being on the losing end. He says that they feel as though their lives are not valued. He stated that the community has got to come together.