Make me your Homepage
left corner left corner
China Daily Website

2 police officers shot in Ferguson

Updated: 2015-03-13 09:29
By Agencies in Ferguson (China Daily)

Gunfire heard during protest following chief's resignation

Two officers were shot during a protest in front of the Ferguson Police Department early on Thursday, authorities said, as demonstrators gathered following the resignation of the embattled police chief of the St. Louis suburb.

A 32-year-old officer from nearby Webster Groves was shot in the face and a 41-year-old officer from St. Louis County was shot in the shoulder, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said at a news conference.

Both were taken to a hospital, where Belmar said they were conscious. He described their injuries as "serious".

"I don't know who did the shooting, to be honest with you," Belmar said.

He said his "assumption" was that, based on where the officers were standing and the trajectory of the bullets, "these shots were directed exactly at my officers".

The shots were fired as protesters had gathered following the resignation of Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson on Wednesday.

He was the sixth employee to resign or be fired after a Justice Department report cleared a white former Ferguson police officer, Darren Wilson, of civil rights charges in the shooting of black 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson last summer.

The Justice Department last Wednesday said it lacked sufficient evidence to prosecute Wilson on federal civil rights charges over the Aug 9 death of Brown after an altercation on a quiet residential street.

But it condemned Ferguson's city hall, police department and municipal court for racial bias in targeting its African-American majority as a means to generate revenue.

Brown's family has indicated it intends to file a wrong - death lawsuit against Wilson and the city of Ferguson.

Jackson oversaw the Ferguson force for nearly five years before the shooting that stirred months of unrest across the St. Louis region and drew global attention to the predominantly black city of 21,000.

Jackson had previously resisted calls by protesters and some of Missouri's top elected leaders to step down over his handling of Brown's shooting and the weeks of sometimes-violent protests that followed.

He was widely criticized from the outset, both for an aggressive police response to protesters and for his agency's erratic and infrequent releases of key information.

During a 12-minute news conference, Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III said Jackson resigned after "a lot of soul-searching" about how the community could heal from the racial unrest stemming from the fatal shooting last summer.

"The chief is the kind of honorable man you don't have to go to," Knowles said.

"He comes to you when he knows that this is something we have to seriously discuss."

The acting head of the Justice Department's civil rights division released a statement saying the US government remains committed to reaching a "court-enforceable agreement" to address Ferguson's "unconstitutional practices", regardless of who is in charge of the city.

Other Ferguson officials to resign have included Ferguson's municipal court judge, two longtime police commanders - including Wilson's supervisor - and, on Tuesday, its city manager.


2 police officers shot in Ferguson

A protester chants in front of a banner that reads "Racism lives here" outside the police and court building in Ferguson, Missouri, on Wednesday, after the police chief resigned. A US Justice Department report last week found widespread racially biased abuses in the city's police department and municipal court.  Kate Munsch / Reuters

Hot Topics