FERGUSON, Aug 11 : The racial flashpoint city of Ferguson awoke under a state of emergency on Tuesday after a second night of clashes between police and protesters, a year after the shooting death of an unarmed black teen.
In unrest that erupted Monday evening and stretched into the early hours, angry demonstrators beat drums and chanted as they threw stones and bottles. Police used pepper spray as they arrested numerous demonstrators.
"Officers are being hit with rocks and bottles. We continue to support free speech, but agitators who ignore orders to disperse risk arrest," the St. Louis County police department said in a tweet.
The protests came after unrest and a shootout in Ferguson Sunday night on the first anniversary of the fatal shooting of an unarmed young black man, Michael Brown, by a white police officer.
As the new violence erupted, county officials declared a state of emergency Monday afternoon, but stopped short of declaring a curfew. St. Louis County executive Steve Stenger said county police would immediately take charge of "police emergency management" in Ferguson and surrounding districts. "In light of last night's violence and unrest in the city of Ferguson, and the potential for harm to persons and property, I am exercising my authority as county executive to issue a state of emergency, effective immediately," he said in a statement.
His statement was issued as an 18-year-old was charged in connection with the shootout on Sunday following a day of mostly peaceful protests marking the first anniversary of Brown's shooting.
His death sparked a nationwide wave of outrage and protest at police treatment of African Americans, especially over criteria for use of lethal force.
Tyrone Harris is accused of first-degree assault on police officers, armed criminal action and shooting at a motor vehicle, police said. ?AFP