On Sunday evening, Ferguson police donned riot gear and attempted to disburse a group of demonstrators that was smashing store windows and blocking traffic. What started as a peaceful protest turned violent when police opened fire and critically wounded a man during demonstrations.
Coincides with Year Anniversary of Michael Brown's Death
The riots come on the year anniversary of the death of 18-year-old African American Michael Brown. White police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Brown, who was unarmed at the time. Over the last year, the death of Brown has sparked heightened criticism of the use of police force and racial bias in the U.S. criminal law system.
Political activists planned for protests in Ferguson and around the country in remembrance of the anniversary of Michael Brown's death this year. Organizers claimed that the political rallies were intended to bring more attention to the issue of police brutality against racial minority groups.
Shots Started Between 2 Groups of Protestors
Ferguson police claim that the gun fight began Sunday evening after two different groups of protestors started shooting at one another. One gunman eventually ran across a parking lot and four police officers in an unmarked patrol car confronted him. The man allegedly opened fire on the officers. Police opened fire in response and pursued him on foot. The fleeing man was critically wounded in the incident. He is currently in unstable and critical condition at the hospital.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar made several statements in a news conference early Monday morning. He said that approximately 40 shots were fired in the gun battle. He further said that the men shooting weapons were not protestors, but criminals. He said that the protests would have be peaceful if it were not for a small number of people trying to make the protests turn violent.
What Do You Think About Police Violence?
The controversial nature of how much force police should be permitted to use is an issue that is currently being debated throughout the nation. What do you think about this issue? Do police need to cut back on the amount of force they use? Is this an issue that more gun control laws could resolve? Or should police be permitted to continue enforcing the law as they currently are? Please post your comments below.
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