Stores looted and burned after shooting of unarmed teen

ferguson missouri riots

Rumors that the National Guard had been called to deal with rioting in Ferguson, Missouri proved false but many clamored for a more serious response as crowds looted stores and engaged in stand offs with police after the fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager on Saturday night.

18-year-old Michael Brown was shot by police multiple times after an apparent struggle with an officer inside a patrol car. (see Editor’s note below)

The incident, similar in nature to the 2011 shooting of Mark Duggan, which led to riots across the United Kingdom, sparked chaotic scenes in Ferguson, with stores being looted and set ablaze.

Afterward, an Associated Press reporter saw some people looting a convenience store. Several other stores along a main road near the shooting scene were broken into and looted, including a check-cashing store, a boutique and a small grocery store.

People were seen carrying arm loads of goods such as bags of food and toilet paper. Television footage showed streams of people walking out of a liquor store carrying bottles of alcohol, and in some cases protesters were standing on top of police cars or taunting officers, some in riot gear.

Other witnesses reported seeing people vandalise police cars and kick in windows. Television footage showed windows busted out of a TV station van.

According to reports, the disorder escalated into “full scale riots,” with shots being fired at a police helicopter and looters attempting to steal an ATM from a gas station.

With the unrest continuing into the early hours of this morning and SWAT teams arriving, rumors began to fly that the National Guard had been called in, although this soon proved inaccurate.

An unsavory incident involving a possible racially motivated attack also reportedly took place despite the fact that the victim was also taking part in the rioting.

Mayor James Knowles begged the looters to stop, saying they were only harming their own community.

“We’re only hurting ourselves, only hurting our community, hurting our neighbors. There’s nothing productive from this,” he said.

Watch more video footage of the chaotic scenes below.

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Editor’s Note: The official police account is much different than the account of an eyewitness. ABC News reports:

A woman who says she witnessed the shooting of Michael Brown by a Ferguson, Mo., police officer said the 18-year-old had his hands up when he was killed.

The witness said Brown, 18, had turned around and was facing police with his hands in the air when the officer fired. She said a stray bullet from the police officer’s gun hit a neighbor’s home, and she was surprised no one else was injured.

“I saw him turn around with his arms up in the air and they shot him in his face and chest and he went down unarmed,” Piaget Crenshaw said.

The one part of the story that seems to be consistent is that Brown was shot as he was either fleeing or had surrendered some 35 feet away. In either case it seems that there was no further danger as he was unarmed. Bearing this in mind, Brown’s mother says that he was shot 8 times. Fox 6 reports:

McSpadden was told her son was shot eight times, though witnesses had varying accounts of how many shots were fired. Brown was supposed to start classes at Vatterott College on Monday, she said.

McSpadden had pointed words for the officer who shot her son.

“You’re not God. You don’t decide when you’re going to take somebody from here,” McSpadden said.

-Dean Garrison, Editor, D.C. Clothesline