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Tuesday, August 11, 2015, 15:04

State of emergency called in US' Ferguson

By Reuters

State of emergency called in US' Ferguson
State of emergency called in US' Ferguson
A man yells through a megaphone to encourage demonstrators during a protest on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson on August 11, 2015. (AFP PHOTO / MICHAEL B. THOMAS)

FERGUSON, Mo - Protesters regrouped in Ferguson, Missouri, on Monday evening after a state of emergency was declared, aimed at preventing a repeat of violence the night before on the anniversary of the police shooting of an unarmed black man.

Protesters, some carrying placards, assembled on a street near the site where Michael Brown, a black teenager, was shot dead by white officer Darren Wilson a year ago and ignited a national firestorm on race relations.

The emergency order was issued for the St. Louis suburb and surrounding areas amid tensions between residents and police after officers shot and critically wounded an 18-year-old man in an exchange of gunfire Sunday night that marred what had been a day of peaceful demonstrations.

Prosecutors charged the man, Tyrone Harris, who was in critical condition in a hospital, with four counts of assault on law enforcement, five counts of armed criminal action, and one count of shooting a firearm at a vehicle. His bond was set at US$250,000.

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger said he made the state of emergency declaration because of "the potential for harm to persons and property".

In Ferguson, a few merchants said they were ready to protect their businesses with firearms, while store owners pleaded for calm.

On a day of civil disobedience called by activists to protest the shooting of Brown and other unarmed black men across the United States by police, 57 people were arrested as they broke through barricades at a courthouse in St. Louis and blocked the entrance, the US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Missouri said.

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