As unrest surrounding a police shooting in Missouri unfolds, here are some questions and answers about what has happened so far.
Q: What touched off the outcry near St. Louis?
A: Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old who was about to begin college, was shot multiple times and killed Saturday afternoon in a confrontation with a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., a St. Louis suburb.
Q: What do police say happened?
A: According to St. Louis County’s police chief, Brown was walking with a friend in the middle of the street when a Ferguson police officer tried to exit his vehicle. Brown pushed the officer back into the police car, then entered the car, and a struggle ensued over the officer’s weapon. A shot was fired inside the car. The officer and Brown then exited the vehicle, and the fatal shooting occurred.
Q: What do witnesses say happened?
A: Dorin Johnson, a friend of Brown’s, told St. Louis TV station Fox 2 that he and Brown were walking in the street when the police car pulled up. The officer said to “get the eff onto the sidewalk,” he recounted. Johnson said the officer reached out of the car window and grabbed Brown around the neck. Another witness, Piaget Crenshaw, said she saw police chase Brown. “He ran for his life,” she said. “They shot him and he fell. He put his arms up to let them know that he was compliant and he was unarmed, and they shot him twice more and he fell to the ground and died.”
Q: Who is investigating the shooting?
A: A Ferguson police officer fired the shots, so an outside agency — the St. Louis County Police Department — is investigating. The FBI and Justice Department have launched a parallel investigation.
Q: What has happened in Ferguson since Brown’s death?
A: In addition to mourning and memorials for Brown, there have been demonstrations, street clashes and looting. A St. Louis County police officer shot and critically wounded a man who police say pointed a gun at him early Wednesday, and the same night, a woman was shot in the head by a civilian but was not seriously injured, police said.
Monday and Tuesday nights police used tear gas on protesters and, several media outlets reported, rubber bullets. On Wednesday, Ferguson police asked protesters to rally only during daylight hours.
Police arrested 32 people Sunday night on suspicion of theft, assault or burglary. Seven people were arrested Monday during a daytime protest outside the Ferguson Police Department, 11 to 15 people were arrested during protests Monday night and at least nine were arrested Tuesday night, police said.
Q: What are the protesters saying.
A: Protesters have said they want the officer who killed Brown to be identified, fired and charged in the killing, and they want the Ferguson police force to reflect the racial demographics of the largely African-American community. They also have said that they want respect from police and that they don’t want to be shot the way Brown was.
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