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Spotlight: Tensions flare up in St. Louis amid black teenager death

来源: Xinhua 作者: 2015-08-23 13:05:21

  A policeman drives away a group of protesters during a manifestation in Ferguson, the United States, on Aug. 11, 2015. Protests marking the anniversary of the shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown were extended for a second day on Tuesday in Ferguson. A state of emergency has been declared for the city of Ferguson on Monday, following gun battles between police and protestors Sunday night.

  Tensions resurges as angry protestors on Thursday took to streets in St. Louis, Missouri after another black teenager was shot dead by two police officers.

  Police used riot gear, tear gas and armored vehicles in confrontations against the protestors. At least nine were arrested on charges of impeding traffic and resisting arrest.

  "It's hard to say right now about what the mood is. There are some folks who are angry ... just looking for a battle," said St. Louis Alderman Antonio French.

  "We will not go away," said Montague Simmons, director of a group called the Organization for Black Struggle in the wake of violent protests against the slaughter of 18-year-old Mansur Ball-Bey.

  Ball-Bey was fatally shot by two white police officers on Wednesday, 10 days after the first anniversary of the death of Michael Brown in north St. Louis.

  The police officers in St. Louis, which hit the headlines for its suburb Ferguson where Brown was killed, said the young man they fatally shot had pointed a gun at them.

  Some 200 demonstrators immediately gathered at the scene after the shooting. Chanting "Black Lives Matter," they questioned the police use of deadly force.

  St. Louis County Police Chief Sam Dotson told reporters at a press conference that two young armed male suspects ran out of a house to be searched by the police.

  They were chased by two police officers. One of the suspects raised his gun and pointed it at the officers, who then opened fire, killing one of the pair, while the other got away. The two officers are not injured and are on administrative leave now.

  Rumors that the killed boy was only 13 years old sent more protestors to streets on Thursday. They reportedly hurled bottles and bricks to the police forces. One building and a car were torched, said the police.

  "We have a right to live in freedom and specifically free from fear," said Simmons. "This can't go unchecked. We're going to stay in the street. No matter what (police) put forward, we are not going to stop."

  The St. Louis area in Missouri had just been flooded by protesters from across the United States marking the first anniversary of the killing of Brown by a white police officer.

  The fresh shooting falls exactly upon the anniversary of not as famous police shooting of another black man in St. Louis, Kajieme Powell.

  This has been the second killing of African-Americans by U.S. police in a single month. In the latest of such cases, Christian Taylor, a 19-year-old black college football player, was fatally shot by an officer during a burglary call on Aug. 7 in the northern Texas city of Arlington.

  Only a month ago, the tragic death of a black woman in a U.S. prison caught media attention in and out of the country.

  Sandra Bland, 28, was stopped by a white Texas trooper for failing to signal a lane change. On a charge of assaulting a public servant, Bland was put into a Texas jail, where she was found hanging with a plastic trash bag around her neck on July 13.

  The high frequency of African-American deaths at the hands of policemen has questioned the human rights conditions in the United States.

  The country has violated the economic and legal rights of its citizens to an alarming degree, the CATO Institute said in the latest report.

  According to the Washington-based think tank's recently published Human Rights Index, the United States' ranking fell from the 17th place in 2008 to the 20th in 2012, declining in indicators of rule of law and economic freedom, among others.

  "The U.S. performance is worrisome and shows the United States can no longer claim to be the leading bastion of liberty in the world," said Ian Vasquez, co-author of the report.

Keywords:Tensions,St. Louis,death

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