Missouri governor declares curfew in riot-hit Ferguson

16 August 2014 Last updated at 22:53
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-28824157

Missouri governor declares curfew in riot-hit Ferguson

The governor of the US state of Missouri has declared a state of emergency in the St Louis suburb where a black teenager was shot dead by police last week.

Jay Nixon also said a curfew would run from midnight local time (05:00 GMT) until 05:00 (10:00 GMT) in Ferguson.

The move comes after a week of violent clashes between heavily armed local police and protesters.

Michael Brown, 18, was shot dead on a street in Ferguson on 9 August.

Governor Nixon said that although many protesters were making themselves heard peacefully, he would not allow a handful of looters to endanger the community.

“We must first have and maintain peace. This is a test. The eyes of the world are watching,” Mr Nixon said. “We cannot allow the ill will of the few to undermine the good will of the many.”

An FBI agent walks past a memorial to Michael Brown at the location where he was killed in Ferguson, Missouri – 16 August 2014 Missouri Governor Jay Nixon said the FBI was bolstering its investigation into the fatal shooting
Michael Brown, the 18 year old who was shot dead in Ferguson, Missouri Michael Brown had recently graduated from high school. His family said their son was not “perfect”

Business owners carry assault weapons to protect their stores from looters in Ferguson, Missouri – 16 August 2014 Local business owners have taken to carrying weapons in a bid to protect their stores from looters

He also said the US Department of Justice was bolstering its investigation of the shooting.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, who is in charge of security in Ferguson, said 40 FBI agents were going door-to-door to gather information about the incident.

Mr Johnson gave a joint press conference with Governor Nixon at a church in Ferguson, where they were repeatedly interrupted by angry locals.

The latest tensions flared on Friday night after Ferguson police chief Thomas Jackson revealed the name of the officer who shot Mr Brown.

Police also released CCTV footage that it said showed Mr Brown stealing a pack of cigars from a convenience store and intimidating its owner shortly before he was killed.

But Mr Jackson said the 18-year-old was not stopped because of the incident and that the officer who shot him did not know he was a robbery suspect.

The BBC’s Tom Esslemont in Washington says Mr Jackson’s comments sparked bewilderment and anger in Ferguson.

Mr Brown’s family said they were “beyond outraged” by the video’s release, criticising what they said was a police attempt to “justify the execution-style murder”.

Civil rights leader Al Sharpton says a peaceful rally, led by Michael Brown’s family is planned for Sunday.
Missouri governor Jay Nixon addresses journalists and local at a church in Ferguson, Missouri – 16 August 2014 Mr Nixon was repeatedly interrupted by angry locals as he spoke at a church in Ferguson on Saturday
Looters run from a store in Ferguson, Missouri – 15 August 2014 Several stores in Ferguson were looted on Friday after protesters clashed with local police

Are you a resident of Ferguson? What do you think of the curfew? Email your views and experiences to haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk adding ‘Ferguson curfew’ in the subject heading and including your contact details.

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