A shooting involving police left a teen dead Saturday in Ferguson, Missouri, authorities said.
Witnesses decried the killing as unprovoked. The deceased, Mike Brown, 18, was unarmed, they told CNN affiliate KMOV.
Angry residents took to the streets by the hundreds to protest, and Ferguson police called up more officers to secure the scene, Police Chief Thomas Jackson said.
Jackson asked the St. Louis County Police Department to conduct an independent investigation into his officer’s actions and the killing of Brown, 18. The Ferguson Police officer involved is on paid administrative leave during the investigation, but will be available to talk to county homicide detectives.
St. Louis County Police plans to release more information on the shooting Sunday.
At the peak of the spontaneous street protest, up to 1,000 people turned up, some very angry, Jackson said.
“We had what probably bordered on riot conditions,” he said.
Officers heard gunfire at the protests, and it took them hours to secure the scene for county homicide detectives to get evidence safely before removing Brown’s body, according to Jackson.
Protesters turned to social media to get their message out. On Twitter, some complained about the time it took authorities to remove Brown’s body.
The St. Louis County NAACP also launched an investigation into the killing.
“We plan to do everything within our power to ensure that the Ferguson Police Department as well as the St. Louis County Police Department releases all details pertinent to the shooting,” local chapter President Esther Haywood said in a statement. “We strongly encourage residents to stay away from the crime scene so that no additional citizens are injured.”
Brown was spending the summer in the neighborhood with his grandmother, Desuirea Harris, she told KMOV. She described him as “a good kid.”
He was walking with at least one other man at the time of the incident, Jackson said. Investigators will interview him and other witnesses to the shooting.
Witnesses told CNN affiliate KTVI that a police officer in a squad car grabbed Brown while he was walking.
Dorin Johnson said he was walking with Brown down the middle of the street when a police car pulled up. The officer told the teens to use the sidewalk, according to Johnson.
After an exchange of words, the officer shot Brown even after he raised his hands in the air, Johnson said. The police chief declined to comment on what preceded the shooting and other specifics of the case.
Brown had recently graduated from high school, his uncle Bernard Ewing said. He was interested in music.
A crowd gathered across the street from Ferguson’s police station late into the night.
Officers were deployed to the scene to ensure the demonstrations are peaceful, the police chief said.
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