Tear Gas Used In Ferguson Riots; New Witness Speaks Out

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UPDATE: (CNN) — A new witness in the police shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, told CNN that Brown and the police officer tussled at the police car window, then the officer shot the teen multiple times, as Brown backed away.

“What I saw was when Michael and the cop were wrestling through the window,” Tiffany Mitchell told CNN’s Don Lemon. A shot was fired while Brown was out the window. He got free, and the officer got out of the vehicle, followed Brown and shot him, she said.

He raised his hands, and the officer kept firing, she said.

By Catherine E. Shoichet, Ben Brumfield and Tristan Smith


FERGUSON, Missouri (CNN) — Police fired tear gas at a crowd of protesters late Wednesday for another night, as they gathered to protest the deadly shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown.

Officers then marched toward the protesters near a burned out a gas station, which has become the gathering point for demonstrations.

Another crowd gathered outside Ferguson’s police station holding up signs and chanting protests for a fifth day.

A Ferguson police officer shot and killed the African-American teenager on Saturday, and the public still does not know the name of the person who pulled the trigger.

Despite cries of a cover-up, there’s good reason for the silence, local officials say. Since the shooting Saturday, police have received death threats against the officer, and it has spread from there, Mayor James W. Knowles said Wednesday on CNN’s “New Day.”

“Hackers have tried to find personal information and display it online on social media, asking people to target myself, council members, the police chief,” he said. “The county police chief’s own home was put on Instagram, and people (were) asked to go there and assault him.”

The threats and continued protests, including demonstrations Tuesday and Wednesday, highlight heightened tensions in the St. Louis suburb and nationally over the shooting of Brown, an 18-year-old Ferguson resident killed in what police say was a dangerous struggle and what witnesses say seemed a brazen act of aggression by the officer.

Ferguson’s police chief told CNN that the officer who shot Brown had been injured in the scuffle, and the Police Department issued a statement saying that “Ferguson mourns the loss of Michael Brown’s life” and that it had “heard the community’s cries for justice.”

At the same time, the department asked protesters to restrict their gatherings to daylight hours.

“Unfortunately, those who wish to co-opt peaceful protests and turn them into violent demonstrations have been able to do so over the past several days during the evening hours,” the department said.

Later, the police chief added: “We understand the anger; we understand that people want answers. We understand that we’ve got a problem, but we’re just asking people to be peaceful.”

A call for transparency

On Tuesday, the lawyer representing Brown’s family blasted the decision not to release the officer’s name, suggesting authorities were protecting one of their own rather than following standard procedures.

“That doesn’t give the community confidence. That doesn’t make it transparent,” attorney Benjamin Crump told reporters. “And remember, we’ve got a long way to go before this community starts to believe that the police are going to give them all the answers and not try to sweep it under the rug.”

Crump was one of the attorneys who represented the family of Trayvon Martin, the teenager who was killed in a 2012 altercation with Florida man George Zimmerman.

He said police should have released the officer’s name 72 hours after the shooting. If police are going to ask residents of Ferguson to obey the law, he said, “then it’s got to work both ways.”

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said he doesn’t yet know when investigators will release the officer’s name but said authorities aren’t skirting any laws.

“The prosecuting attorney and the St. Louis County police chief agree that this is the prudent step to take under the circumstances,” he said.

“We started getting death threats against him and his family, and although that’s not most of the people, we took these things seriously,” Jackson said.

Someone claiming to be part of the shadowy Internet organization Anonymous also posted a video to YouTube on Tuesday promising to hack city websites and release information on Ferguson police unless the identity of the officer involved was released.

‘Don’t shoot!’

The Ferguson-Florissant School District announced that it was pushing back the start of classes this year. School had been scheduled to resume Thursday.

“The decision has been made to cancel school on Thursday, August 14 and on Friday, August 15, in response to concerns expressed by many about continuing unrest in our community,” the district said in a statement.

“In order to allow additional time for the situation to stabilize and for all of our students and their families to resume normal routines, we will reschedule the first day of school for Monday, August 18.”

More protests over Brown’s death erupted Tuesday.

“Don’t shoot!” demonstrators said, holding up signs protesting Brown’s killing. “No justice, no peace!”

The crowds dispersed after some demonstrators threw bottles at police, who responded with tear gas. No injuries were reported.

The protest followed clashes with police and looting Sunday and Monday. Police have made 47 arrests after Brown’s shooting, KMOV reported.

He said, he said

What led up to Brown’s death Saturday is a point of major contention.

Witnesses say the African-American teen was unarmed and his hands were in the air when he was shot. Police have said Brown attacked the officer and tried to take his gun.

On Wednesday, Jackson told CNN that the officer had been hit and suffered swelling on the side of his face. He was taken to a hospital and released the same day, Jackson said.

Police had not before offered any indication that the officer had been injured in the reported struggle.

The officer, Jackson said, is shaken by what happened.

As federal civil rights investigators and the FBI carry out their own inquiry into the controversial case, tensions are running high in the town of 21,000, where there’s a history of distrust between the predominantly black community and the largely white police force.

“Race relations is a top priority right now and, as I said, I’m working with the Department of Justice to improve that,” Jackson told reporters Wednesday, adding that he has tried to increase the diversity of the department since he got there.

Only three of the city’s 53 officers are African-American.

Dorian Johnson, who said he saw the shooting, told CNN on Tuesday that the officer who opened fire is white.

‘Full, fair, complete and impartial investigation’

Alongside the federal investigation into any potential violation of the civil rights law, the St. Louis County Police Department and the county prosecutor’s office will conduct a parallel investigation into whether any state laws were broken.

“We are still in the information gathering part of the investigation,” St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch said Wednesday. “There is so much information out there — some of it good, some of it bad.”

He urged anyone with information about the shooting to step forward and promised to go wherever the investigation leads.

“We will do a full, fair, complete and impartial investigation into this. Nothing will be left untouched,” McCulloch said.

College-bound teen sought a better life

Brown was going to defy negative stereotypes, staying away from the street life that plagued many African-American young men by instead going to college, his mother said.

“People may do things and it becomes repetitive in a certain race, but we didn’t. We don’t live like that. Not our family,” his mother, Lesley McSpadden, told CNN.

“We feel like we can do anything and go anywhere. … Just because my son is a 6-foot-4-inch black male walking down a city street does not mean he fit the profile for anything other than just walking down the street.”

CNN’s Catherine E. Shoichet wrote in Atlanta, and Tristan Smith reported from Ferguson. CNN’s Julian Cummings, Ben Brumfield, Michael Pearson, Don Lemon, Eliott C. McLaughlin and Dave Alsup contributed to this report.

™ & © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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    • Patrick

      Wow, that’s disgusting. The militarization of our police is extremely upsetting, as is racism anywhere it is encountered. Looking @ you, Revman.

      • revman

        You know what is really disgusting is the ANIMALS that are looting & destroying other peoples property when they have NO FACTS. If that’s being a racist well so are MILLIONS of Americans watching these blacks destroying property in the name of WHAT? The police are being to lenient on them.

      • Aaron Upchurch

        Pay no mind to these racist fools – you know what this riot is really all about! …Soon enough the masses will get the point and unite – choosing to see past their racial differences and finally rage against the machine!

  • Confuseus Say

    I don’t care what your race is or the cops race , if you shove a cop into his own car, beat on him and try to get his gun you will get the same results. So. stuff the racism crap where the sun don’t shine.

  • nhohn24

    Now after seeing all of the Caucasian police officers shooting and murdering innocent African American teenagers would you trust anything they said. Would you trust anything they said after being repeatedly caught in a blatant lie as an attempt to cover up the wrongful killing of an innocent teenager. The response to the shootings are the response coming from years of disenfranchisnent and the subjugation of African Americans in the United states. Looting is not the answer to our problems but after being repeatedly abused by the systems that our suppose to protect us, and suppose to be peaceful towards us, we are bashed and labeled as animals for repsonding with anything less than politeness. I understand if you feel angry about the destruction of hard working citizens properties, but I ask you Revman, if you are angry about the crime of looting, how do you think African American citizens feel about the crime of murder against our young boys. These our are children and they are being ripped away from us daily. Children our are future, and our futures are being continually shot down in the street. After being silenced, and revoked of the rights to speak out against unjust treatment it is impossible to remain silent.

    • revman

      NHOH– The biggest killers of blacks a ARE BLACKS they are shooting themselves in EVERY city in the U.S.A. I can’t turn on my TV news without seeing black people killing black people. You are being repeatedly abused by your own selves not the system.

      • nhohn

        The biggest killers of white people are white people as well. 84% of white people murdered in the U.S are committed by other white people. However I cant turn on me T.V. and see these stories on the news because it would actually shed a light into the current cultural situation in america. One of the greatest crimes against black people is that we are portrayed as ghetto, ignorant criminals so when innocent teenagers are gunned down in the street we can be told that they deserved it.

    • Joseph Sitting Bull

      Your young African American boys are being shot in the streets by the other young African American boys more often than by white police officers.

    • Joseph Sitting Bull

      If you don’t like the way things are going here in America, you can always go back to Africa. Black people earned that freedom years ago.

  • Joseph Sitting Bull

    If this whole incident started out with a black police officer shooting a white unarmed teenager nobody would give a crap about it. Although I am not racist, I do agree somewhat with Revman. The people who are rioting for the sake of this innocent teen are committing crimes which is exactly what got the teen shot in the first place. Sounds like a bunch of morons to me.

  • Aaron Upchurch

    I can’t tell you how many videos I’ve seen where police brutalize and even murder innocent people in cold-blood…

    The media has succeeded in convoluting the controversy to incite racism and control. They pave the way for a New World Order police state and pit you racist morons against yourselves – so you have no fucking chance of fighting back! …Black vs White – White vs Hispanic (Black, White and Hispanic vs Middle-Eastern) Your all too busy fighting yourselves to defend LIFE, LIBERTY and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS from the tyrants behind the curtain! Meanwhile, more and more of your rights (regardless of race) are being subjugated by an elite ruling class that seek to impose their will with impunity through YOUR ignorance and submission… and judging by the comments (as well as the state of things) they are fucking winning!

    This isn’t a race war GOD DAMN IT! This is a war on the proletariat – THE WORKING CLASS -designed to transform ALL OF YOU into mindless, obedient slaves to an ELITE PLUTOCRACY! (…as if that hasn’t already happened.) It doesn’t matter what race you are – you’re all going to be BLACK and BLUE when uncle Sam is through with YOU!

    America incarcerates more of it’s citizens than ANY OTHER COUNTRY ON EARTH! It’s time to WAKE UP and FIGHT BACK! …BUT FIRST – you need to be properly RE-EDUCATED to correctly identify the ENEMY!


    Don’t let them brainwash you with racist propaganda!
    Don’t let them DIVIDE and CONQUER! –
    Don’t let them TAKE OUR 2ND AMENDMENT!