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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Miles from Ferguson, another young man shot by police

St. Louis police officer fatally shot a young black man on Wednesday night, sparking protests in the south of the city just a day before thousands of protesters are expected to arrive in Ferguson, Missouri for rallies and marches over the killing of Michael Brown.
The young man—described by police as an 18-year-old black man—was fatally wounded while being pursued by an officer who had observed him acting suspiciously and pursued him. The man shot at the officer “at least three times” during the chase; the officer fired 17 shots at the man.
The shooting—16 miles from the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson—sparked protests overnight, threatening to aggravate the precarious relations between the communities and police ahead of an emotionally charged weekend.
Brown’s shooting on Aug 9 prompted days of demonstrations in Ferguson, worsening when police armed themselves with military-style weapons and protections, cracking down on protests with tear gas and arrests. Ferguson has become a symbol for those who see Brown’s death as a symptom of excess force and discriminatory policing.  
St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson told reporters around 1 a.m. CT that an officer, six-year force veteran, was off-duty and working a side job as a security guard when he saw three young men acting suspiciously. After a “physical altercation” between the officer and the man, the fire fight began. It’s unclear how many times the officer’s bullets hit the suspect; the officer was unharmed. A 9mm Ruger was recovered at the scene, as were three projectiles in the direction of the officer.
Dotson said the suspect was known to police, though he wouldn’t elaborate, suggesting that the deceased had a juvenile record.
Calls for demonstration were spread on social media; police shut down streets to make space for the protests. No protesters were arrested, but several police cars were damaged. At last check, 50 protesters were still demonstrating, Dotson told reporters, promising to protect their ability to police.

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